Logging injunction to be lifted in forest popular with mushroom pickers

Logging trucks will return to a community forest on the Sunshine Coast later this month, after a judge agreed to lift a temporary injunction granted to a group of mushroom pickers.

Work in Sunshine Coast cut block will be permitted as of Jan. 25, anti-logging activist says

Logging began in the locally nicknamed Chanterelle Forest on Dec. 17. ( Elphinstone Logging Focus)

Logging trucks will return to a community forest on the Sunshine Coast later this month, after a judge agreed to lift a temporary injunction granted to a group of mushroom pickers.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Lisa Warren has ruled work can resume in the so-called Chanterelle Forest on Jan. 25, according to activist Ross Muirhead.

He said the decision came after he and his fellow plaintiffs were unable to prove they could pay more than $200,000 in potential damages to the logging company

"We're disappointed that the courts forced us, as private citizens, to show that we were in a position to undertake to pay for the inflated damages that the logging company … was claiming," Muirhead told CBC News.

He and fellow mushroom enthusiasts Hans Penner and Laurie Annette Bloom are asking the court for a judicial review of the forests ministry's decision to grant a cutting permit for the 25.3 hectares of Crown land known as EW28.

The cut block is part of the Sunshine Coast Community Forest, operated by Sechelt Community Projects Inc., and the activists argue there wasn't enough public consultation before the permit was awarded.

Locals say the Chanterelle Forest is an optimal growing site for mushrooms. ( Elphinstone Logging Focus)

Warren granted a temporary injunction on Dec. 22, then extended it earlier this month.

But she gave the activists until Jan. 15 to prove they had enough to money to cover any damages that might be awarded against them if they lose their bid for a judicial review.

Muirhead said the mushroom pickers weren't willing to put their houses on the line, and so the judge will allow logging to resume.

The case will return to court in early March, when the judge will hear arguments on the judicial review application.

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