By Andru McCracken
The contractor logging on 5 Mile said he is working to ensure locals can continue to use the road for recreation, despite ongoing logging in the area.
5 Mile Road is the access to the Valemount Bike Park in the summertime and in the wintertime it is used by a surprising number of skiers and tobogganers and many locals use snowmobiles to gain access to higher elevation terrain.
Wintertime is also the time for logging. Joseph Nusse is currently logging in the Valemount Community Forest tenure removing trees impacted by the Spruce beetle.
According to the Forest Range and Practices Act a person must not operate a snowmobile on a forest service road if it appears that the road has been snowplowed, or that the road is otherwise fit for travel by motor vehicles other than snowmobiles.
Whether legal or not, Nusse isn’t hoping to chase other users off the road.
The road is ploughed up to Stump Town, or just past 1 km, but it remains skiable.
Nusse is taking extra measures to prevent conflict, driving down in advance of logging truck descents to ensure no one is on the road or tobogganing.
“When we do haul it is usually very early in the morning,” said Nusse.
Nusse said people are welcome to park at Stump Town, but if they do he’d appreciate if they’d leave the keys in the vehicle so it can be moved if required.
Nusse’s cell and radio channel is posted at the entrance to 5 Mile, but he hasn’t received any calls regarding use of the road.
“People can call me directly 250-566-1444,” he said.
A region wide shortage of logging trucks means Nusse doesn’t expect much active hauling in the near term. When it does come time to haul wood out, Nusse plans to ribbon off the road keeping folks off the hill for the day.