Storm-ravaged Stanley Park could be heli-logged

A lot of forest companies have expressed interest in helping to help clean up Stanley Park in the wake of last week's windstorm, say Vancouver Park Board officials.

Manyforest companies have expressed interest in helping clean upStanley Park afterthe windstorm that damaged or felled thousands of trees last week, Vancouver Park Board officials say.

Wind has uprooted some very old growth trees in Vancouver's Stanley Park. ((CBC))
Meetings are underway to come up with a plan to remove fallen trees and branches, which promises to be a long and expensive job.

The windstorm on Dec.15 knocked down or damaged an estimated 3,000 trees, including some that were centuries old.

The B.C-based forestry giant Interfor is one of the companies that has offered to help. The company's vice-president,Rick Slaco, saidan assessment of the damage was needed to determine how many trees need to be removed.

He said helicopters could then be used to remove the biggest fallen logs and tilting trees from their park.

The Stanley Park Seawall, seen here from the air, has been closed by storm damage. ((CBC))
"If there was trees that had value that you could actually lift from the forest, then you create way less disturbance on the ground," he said. "It's a much more environmentally sensitive way to harvest."

Slaco said Interfor wouldn't charge the city for the cleanup, butwould want to keep the wood it removes from the park.

He estimates a single telephone pole sized log could be worth about $200. But Stanley Park operations manager Bill Manning said it was still too early to put a value on the timber.

Some areas of the park were harder-hit than others, with groves of trees flattened. ((CBC))
Manning said he plans to meet with several other forest companies before deciding which one will get the job.

Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan said Wednesday that he plans to approach the federal and provincial governments to help pay for the restoration of the world-renowned park.

The park board has also launched an adopt-a-tree fundraising campaign to help cover the costs of the cleanup. So far, more than $40,000 has come in from across the country.