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Trail users oppose logging in Carmi recreation area near Penticton

Neda Joss has been hiking the Upper Carmi ski trails for decades.

The network of trails east of Penticton is a serene escape for outdoor enthusiasts, including cross-country skiers, snowshoers, and mountain bikers.

“It just offers something for families and the community,” she said.

But soon sections of the lush green forest could be clear-cut.

BC Timber Sales, the province’s forest management arm, plans to open the area to logging in 2020.

It says around 70 hectares, or 10 per cent, of the Carmi Intensive Recreation area could be logged, much to the dismay of recreational users like Joss.

She said existing trails could be transformed into industrial logging roads, but BC Timber Sales says no final decision has been made on roads.

“The serenity of this is gone if you end up going in a logging road that’s been clear-cut,” she said while showing Global Okanagan the proposed harvest area.

Joss is spearheading a movement against the logging initiative. She launched a Facebook page to garner support as well as started an online petition.

She said the petition has garnered more than 1,000 signatures and she plans to lobby politicians.

A spokesperson for BC Timber Sales said it has already conducted consultations with stakeholders and there was minimal negative feedback.

“Staff are assessing and considering the users’ input to minimize the impact to recreation resources without precluding harvesting,” the statement said.

Joss said the plan, not the trees, should be axed.

“It’s going to change the whole area.”

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