Biologist Wayne McCrory thinks this potential bear den should remain undisturbed. Den trees only exist in old growth and he estimates that 80 per cent of the old growth forest in the Slocan Valley has been logged. Photo submitted

Biologist wants to save Slocan Valley tree that’s likely bear den

Wayne McCrory wants industry to move a planned road

A Slocan Valley bear biologist wants a logging company to spare a tree that he says shows all the signs of being a bear den. He wants them to leave a strip in their cutblock and move the planned location of a road.

But Wayne McCrory says the company, Yucwmenlúcwu (Caretakers of the Land), owned by the Splatsin First Nation located near Enderby, has refused to move the road.

The cutblock is located in the Valhalla Range just north of Valhalla Park and Slocan Lake.

“I was hoping that they would be more amenable to this,” McCrory told the Star, “especially when they [initially] phoned me asking for input.”

He said the company told him they would try to save the den tree but might have to “stub” it to make it safe by WorkSafe BC rules. Then they would cap it so a bear might be able to use it later.

McCrory said it may be only one tree, but it’s symbolic. Den trees only exist in old growth and he estimates that 80 per cent of the old growth forest in the Slocan Valley has been logged.

“This is symbolic of what is wrong with our resource management policies today when you don’t protect high biodiversity areas like this,” he said. “Whether you stand up for one tree or many … or you stand up for one grizzly that was wrongly killed or the whole population, it is the same principle.”

Yucwmenlúcwu has not returned the Star’s calls or emails requesting comment.

McCrory was instrumental in pushing for the 2016 Great Bear Rainforest legislation that includes a provision that bear dens should be surrounded by a 30-metre buffer and no road construction.

What he’s recommending here is “leave a strip 40 metres wide and 200 meters long, not a very big area. It mostly means moving the road. Having built lots of mining company roads, I don’t see the problem. It is not like we are asking them not to log or not to salvage, it is just moving things a bit to accommodate.”

He said he’s been tracking and attempting to protect grizzly bear dens and old-growth black bear dens for the past 40 years and is now trying to get legislation that would apply outside of protected areas.

“What I am talking about is not an economic threat to logging companies per se, it is just encompassing new knowledge and new information into more ecosystem-friendly logging, as has happened on the coast.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Biologist Wayne McCrory thinks this potential bear den should remain undisturbed. Den trees only exist in old growth and he estimates that 80 per cent of the old growth forest in the Slocan Valley has been logged. Photo submitted

Just Posted

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

West Coast restaurateurs feeding the front-line

“My community was my main focus out of the gate.”

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

Not to become bored the game plan for COVID-19

Board game with an Island map developed by Island family just the remedy for filling time at home

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

Most Read