Former MLA Judi Tyabji leads fight to save Powell River's urban forest

A war in the woods has erupted in Powell River, B.C., where a group of residents is fighting a plan to start logging Lot 450 — an urban forest within the city limits.

Residents considering taking legal action to stop logging in their 'Stanley Park'

Residents in Powell River, B.C. are upset about logging that has started in their urban forest, Lot 450. (Robert Colasanto)

A war in the woods has erupted in Powell River, B.C., where a group of residents is fighting a plan to start logging Lot 450 — an urban forest within the city limits.

"It's our Stanley Park, that's the best way to put it," Judi Tyabji, the president of the Pebble in the Pond Environmental Society told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

"It's not just trees. You walk in there, there's otters, there's cougars, there's bears. It's an ecosystem," said the former Liberal MLA.

The area in question is owned by PRSC Land Development Ltd, a partnership between the City of Powell River, Catalyst Paper Corporation and Tla'amin First Nation, but Island Timberlands holds the logging rights.

Late last month, it announced plans to start harvesting the area — prompting outrage from residents.

"This is not an anti-logging protest. Many people in Powell River make their living from logging. This is about something that's much more valuable than that," said Tyabji.

Since the announcement, the city signed an agreement with Island Timberlands to protect 90 acres, but Tyabji said that's not enough.

"There's still over 200 acres on land owned by the community that's slated for a clear cut," she said.

The Pebble in the Pond Environmental Society will present an environmental study of the area to city council tonight.

Tyabji said the group has also spoken with a lawyer to explore other ways of stopping the harvest.

Island Timberlands did not return the CBC's request for comment.

To hear the full interview with Judi Tyabji, listen to the audio labelled: Powell River's war in the woods.

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