Logging will take place this spring above the Great Northern Rail Trail, south of the Nelson cemetery, from mid-March to mid-May.
Kalesnikoff Lumber Ltd., which owns the timber licence, will log the area as part of an agreement with the Regional District of Central Kootenay, the City of Nelson, and the BC Wildfire Service.
The goal of the joint plan, originally announced in 2019, is to provide fire protection as well as a viable timber harvest.
This means that the company will cut fewer trees by taking the more flammable species and leaving those that are more fire resistant, and leave enough trees to form what wildfire experts call a “shaded fuel break.”
Decisions about what to cut and what to leave have been made jointly by Kalesnikoff and the other partner agencies, along with forest consultant John Cathro.
Cathro said the result will not be a clearcut. The shaded fuel break, in addition to discouraging the spread of wildfires, will achieve several other goals: there will be no need to plant trees because the area will already be fully stocked, it will satisfy the need for a forested viewscape as seen from town and from the highway, and it will maintain wildlife habitat.
He added the partnership is groundbreaking.
“This project brings together RDCK, Kalesnikoff, B.C. Wildfire Service, City of Nelson, provincial funders and local contractors to do something we don’t often see — working together for the broader community,” Cathro said.
The Selous Creek drainage has been identified by the RDCK as one of the most serious fire threats in the region because its forest contains an intense build-up of dry flammable material, it is close to human habitation, and it is very near to one of Nelson’s secondary drinking water intakes at Selous Creek.
The work will extend about two kilometres along and above the rail trail toward Salmo from the cemetery south to the first trestle. Rail trail users will be detoured around the high hazard area by traffic controllers. The trail will be fully accessible during weekends.