We are regular citizens of the North Okanagan who cherish the forest and trails of the 712 acres of Rose Swanson Sensitive Area, officially designated as such in spring 1997.
Without any public consultation, Rose Swanson Sensitive Area has been reclassified by the Ministry of Forests as the Rose Swanson Operating Area. It is being treated by the Ministry of Forests as just another patch of commercially valuable timber and is slated for logging, and logging road development in spring 2021.
We are concerned citizens who have united our voices to first and foremost SAVE ROSE SWANSON FROM LOGGING. We are united in a love for Rose Swanson and its ecosystem, and terrified for its fate if left to the management of the BC Timber Supply crown agency.
Our immediate aim is to stop the proposed logging of Mounts Rose & Swanson before timber harvest plans and bids move too far along the process, and before a license has been given to harvest the ancient trees of this vibrant, diverse and magnificent forest.
The long term aim is to finally achieve the designation of Mounts Rose & Swanson as a fully fledged Provincial Park and thereby to achieve the protection of the wilderness and wildlife of this treasured ecosystem. Achieving Park status has been “in the works” for literally decades,.
The establishment of Rose Swanson Provincial Park forms part of the Township of Spallumcheen Official Community Plan
Rose Swanson Sensitive Area is a treasured asset to the citizens of the North Okanagan. This is our little wilderness. One way or another, the ancient and diverse forest of Rose Swanson bestows benefits to everyone who resides here. It is our place to hike, to snowshoe, to ride for kilometres on end. It is the place where we find beauty and solitude in nature. It is the place where we go to connect with nature and marvel at the grand ancient cedar, douglas fir, larch, cottonwood, birch, aspen and alder. It is the place where many of us exercise daily.
Rose Swanson is the anchor forest for the wildlife that graces our rural properties flanking the slopes through to the valley bottoms. We have bears, wolves, cougar, lynx, bobcats, moose, deer and coyotes on our rural properties because our lands are an extension of the Rose Swanson ecosystem. We have the birds of the mature forests at our winter feeders because their range extends up the forested slopes of Mounts Rose & Swanson.
Rose Swanson is also the high forested land that feeds our aquifers with its snow melt, paced out long into the forest fire season. Its snows replenish our aquifers and maintain a humid forest floor long into summer, thereby tamping down our forest fire risk.
At core, Rose Swanson and its intact ancient forests is a place that contributes to the well-being and quality of life of those of us who make the North Okanagan our home.
As there has been zero public consultation about the planned logging of Rose Swanson, as the Ministry of Forests has not responded to media requests for comments, and as the Ministry of Forests managers have not provided maps or answers to the direct questions of concerned
citizens and stakeholders, it is hard to know the extent of the threat. We have no reason to believe that the worst case logging scenario isn’t in the offing.
We know there will be the cutting of ancient trees and wildlife trees both along the forestry roads and skid trails. We know there will be clearcutting and that clearcuts will be up to about 30 acres per clearcut patch. We know that the plan is to set aside a wildlife tree patch rather than clusters of important individual trees. We know that the logging will desecrate valuable habitat and will destroy the aesthetic values we find on our rambles through the forest. We know that the beauty and recreational values of our little wilderness will be destroyed by any logging.
We know that the ecosystem that anchors all of our rural properties will be significantly disrupted. We know that cutting the forest will cost the ecosystem its biodiversity. We know that cutting the forest will
accelerate the snow melt and will dry the forest floor earlier in the fire season.
We are demanding that the various government ministries and levels of government hear us and our alarm for the looming destruction of our little wilderness. We ask that you join us in this endeavour.
The first priority is to make noise and insist that your voice be heard. Write letters, email, telephone the Premier, the government ministries, the forestry and environment district office, the Township of Spallumcheen, the City of Armstrong and the North Okanagan Regional District.
Demand full, meaningful and timely public consultation by the Ministry of Forests, the Ministry of the Environment and their District Offices. Demand that no logging or road work plans should be made without public support or made without fully appreciating the important values that Rose Swanson represents to the citizens of the North Okanagan.
Demand of Spallumcheen that the Township follows through on the OCP commitment to pursue the protection of Rose Swanson through official Provincial Park designation. Demand that the City of Armstrong protect the aesthetic and recreational values its residents hold dear.
Demand of the Ministry of Environment, and district Parks Offices that they assess the 712 acres of Rose Swanson for park status, and that they don’t mollify us by giving Rose Swanson “protective” designations that after some years seem to evaporate ( illegally?).
Demand that the Premier hold his Ministers of Forests and Environment to the mandate letters of November 2020, spelling out the importance of wilderness, biodiversity, the expansion of parks, the enhancement of outdoor recreational pursuits, and of course, dealing with climate change.
Demand that the Premier insist of his Ministers that they immediately defer the logging of Old Growth trees as announced in autumn 2020, before the election.
Demand that the Premier insist that his Minister of Forests protect actual Wildlife Trees and that the protective legislation removes the conflict of interest work-around of “wildlife tree patches” instead.
We would like to collect information and data. Maybe you can take amazing photos of Rose Swanson that captures its beauty? Maybe you can take great photos of the enjoyment of the trails by yourself or your dog?
Maybe you can do GPS locating and recording of all the ancient
Old Growth Trees and Wildlife Trees. Maybe you can identify, record and submit data of the wildlife ( or tracks ) you encounter. Maybe you can download i-naturalist and record all species seen on your rambles?
Maybe you know all the plants and wildflowers of the ecosystem and
can identify, record and submit the data on same.
Maybe you have trail cams that can photograph the wildlife.
Maybe you are a history buff and you can look into the history of the
various designations of Rose Swanson over the years, all intended to bring protection to it.
Please let us know if you can help reveal the valuable wildlife and recreational attributes of Rose Swanson to the powers that be.
Whether you help through signing our petition, sending emails, volunteering your time, or spreading our mission through word-of-mouth, thank you. We couldn't accomplish our goals without the help of supporters like you.