Frustrated residents in Youbou are demanding a solution to that community’s longstanding dust problems. The possibility of a new logging bypass route being considered. Skye Ryan reports.
With a backyard view of gorgeous Cowichan Lake, Karen Pivarnyik thought she’d found heaven in Youbou. Then the summer dust from logging trucks began.
“I’ve opened the door before and had to shut it right away it was so cloudy,” says the Youbou resident.
Her home isn’t far from the main road through Youbou where logging trucks pass daily from the bush to the mills, packing dirt and mud that quickly turns into a dust that she says can take your breath away.
“Let me tell ya’ there’s a lot of dust,” says Pivarnyik. “I mean it’s thick sometimes, there’s clouds of it on the road. It’s crazy,” she says.
Windows are closed even as temperatures soar over 30 degrees Celsius and dust covers surfaces all over this forestry town. At Cassy’s coffee shop, it even gets into locked cabinets.
Patrick Miller, who runs the coffee shop, is also a realtor and says the dust is hurting property values.
People are avoiding the area because of the dust,” says Miller. “Seniors tend to come to here to get the best dollar but are having problems. Anyone with lung problems or emphysema or anything like that,” he says.
A logging bypass road is being considered behind Youbou and the option will be presented to the community Monday night in hopes of finally solving the longstanding dispute.
“There might be new ideas coming out,” says Cowichan Valley Regional District Director Klaus Kuhn. “And it might solve much of the problems. We hope it will.”