WATCH: TimberWest says Muir Creek is safe from logging. But, without a contract agreement the creek’s long term survival is still in question. Luisa Alvarez reports.
Straddling the border between Otter Point and Shirley on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island is Muir creek.
?It is probably the most significant ecological area for this particular region,? said Juan de Fuca community trails society president Sid Jorna.
It is home to an abundance of wildlife and one of the last stands of near old-growth forest in the Sooke region. The creek itself is known as a spawning estuary for three runs of salmon and two species of trout.
But, the land is owned by TimberWest and as more and more tree markings along with a new access road appeared, logging concerns had the community in a panic.
“An employee from TimberWest showed up in my neighborhood and told me logging was imminent,? said former Muir Creek Preservation President Alanda Carver.
The area receives frequent heavy rainfall and is known to have loose soil comprised of significant pockets of glacial till. Logging in the area could lead to erosion of the steep embankment.
“If they start logging it there would be silt in the stream and it would be very bad for the salmon,” said Jorna.
? The silt in the soil can actually smother the salmon eggs,” said Carver.
A treasured delicate place not only for the wildlife but for the people that enjoy its beauty.
As their only Christmas wish, hoping for protection. A wish that was answered. According to TimberWest, the access road was simply to join a reactivated TimberWest logging road. And in a statement, they assured the area was not at risk for logging.
“We can assure the community of Sooke that we have no plans to harvest in the lower Muir Creek area. Our harvest plans are restricted to second-growth forests significantly upstream of the mouth of the Muir Creek,” said TimberWest.
” It just feels like its a whole new start for the area and that?s beautiful,? said Carver.
Although, there is no contract agreement to ensure its protection.
“We are going on faith that their word is their word,” said Jorna.
A big win for the moment but Carver says they hope to see it in writing.
” We want to make sure that there is an actual deal signed that says this area will not be used for logging,? said Carver.
For now, It?s a battle won in a war to ensure long-term protection.