Government advances protection for part of Skagit River Valley

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o protect the environment for people now and in the future, the B.C. government has taken steps to safeguard the Silverdaisy watershed from logging on the B.C. side of the Skagit River Valley.

“Effective immediately, BC Timber Sales will no longer award timber licences in the Silverdaisy area, ensuring no additional commercial forest harvesting occurs in that area,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “We’ve heard loud and clear from individuals and groups on both sides of the border that logging should stop in the Silverdaisy, and we’re making sure that commercial timber harvesting in that area does not continue.”

The Silverdaisy management area – commonly known as the “Donut Hole” – is about 5,800 hectares. It consists of lands removed from the original Skagit Valley Recreation Area in 1995, Skagit Provincial Forest and lands removed from E. C. Manning Park in 1968. These lands are adjacent to one another and are surrounded by both Skagit Valley Park and E. C. Manning Park.

Under the previous government, a timber sale licence was awarded for the Silverdaisy area in 2015, allowing commercial forest harvesting to occur in the area. Timber harvesting under this licence has now ended and no future licences will be awarded by BC Timber Sales.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development has been working with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to secure access to new harvest areas within the Fraser Timber Supply Area in order to protect and preserve forestry jobs. These new areas will replace the existing BC Timber Sales harvest area in Silverdaisy. The Fraser Timber Supply Area excludes parks and protected areas.

“We are taking action to protect the rich natural heritage in the Silverdaisy watershed and surrounding areas. Through this action, our government is building on our commitment to protect diverse fish and wildlife species and their habitat,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “We are conserving the forest environment and connecting wildlife corridors by protecting this intact old-growth valley. Along with our neighbours in Washington, we share the commitment to protect the Skagit River Valley as an important step taken on behalf of our children and grandchildren.”

The total BC Timber Sales forest harvesting operations in the Silverdaisy portion of the Skagit Watershed represent only about 3% of the Silverdaisy area and only 0.3% of the Canadian portion of the Skagit watershed by area.