An outdoorsman says an undercurrent of frustration may have resulted in damage to some of Mosaic’s gates after a logging company had a decades-old cabin recently dismantled on its property.
One gate, off of Nanaimo Lakes Road, documented by CHEK News has been pulled from the ground, bent and left not working.
Dennis Hill says he came across it shortly after learning Mosaic Forest Management had a cabin of 31 years on its property removed.
“The operator was promised a further wood lot and they said to go up and crush it and boy did he crush it,” said Hill. “There are a lot of folks that are pretty upset about this and there are going to be some ramifications.”
Hill says the two-story cabin, known as the Rheinhart cabin near Rheinhart Lake, was built well before Mosaic arrived on Vancouver Island and it’s been used all year round by countless people since.
“The way that this company does things. They go in and they find out stuff that we have built for us for our livelihood out in the bush. That Reinhart cabin, it saved two lives,” said Hill.
Hill says Mosaic has destroyed other cabins in the past and its also severely limited access to their lands.
Mosaic says recently its gates have been closed more so than usual due to the continued risk of forest fires.
A long-time fish and game club official says he understands the value of many rural pre-existing cabins.
“What we need to do is to meet with these people in Mosaic and convince them of the deal that it saves people’s lives,” said Larry Wasden, Secretary of the Chemainus Rod & Gun Club.
But Larry Wasden points out that Mosaic has reached agreements with many groups allowing access.
“There are ways to deal with this kind of stuff and tearing down gates is not the answer,” said Wasden.
Hill says while he hasn’t been involved he’s heard that five of Mosaic’s gates have so far been damaged.
“It’s going to be up Copper Canyon Main all off Rheinhart everything,” said Hill, who thinks whoever is damaging the gates isn’t going to stop.
“Nope, not now because they’ve done the cabin.”
While Mosaic did not address the Rheinart cabin demolition in its statement it did say “unsanctioned activities on Mosaic’s privately owned forested lands, such as cabin construction, are prohibited” because “such activities pose severe risks to the working forest including vandalism, forest fires, illegal waste dumping, and other detrimental environmental consequences.”
Earlier this year an environmental group gave guarded support for Mosaic’s old-growth forest plan.