Outdoor enthusiasts are speaking out against decreasing access to Alberni Valley backroads as Island Timberlands has been locking main access gates.
Alberni - Clayoquot Regional District Directors say they've received many letters and phone calls from people upset over the lack of access to favourite fishing, camping and hiking spots.
Alberni - Pacific Rim MLA Scott Fraser says there weren't many rules applied to the BC Liberals gift of the lands to Weyerhauser in 2004, but recreational access was one
Fraser said Island Timberlands has constructed a gate on the road to Mount Arrowsmith that is limiting access to the regional park.
Island Timberlands has been invited to answer questions at an upcoming ACRD meeting
The company pulled out of the local West Island Wildland Advisory Group two years ago, which up until then was their only point of contact with local concerns.
Alberni agriculture researchers say a local abattoir would restore ranching in the area, and would be a game-changer for the agricultural well-being of the Valley.
Regional District Planner Alex Dyer said cattle owners have to truck their animals to an out-of-town abattoir at great expense, and want to at least get a licence to slaughter the animals on their farm, which then restricts the sale of the meat to local sales only.
ACRD Directors agreed to lobby the provincial government to help get the appropriate licencing.
Local MLA Scott Fraser will be speaking on the issue in the Legislature this morning.
The Huu-ay-aht First Nation has purchased lands in Sarita Bay from Western Forest Products as they continue work towards a possible LNG shipping facility.
The lands will be leased back to Western who operate a dryland sort there, and the deal also comes with a 200,000 cubic metre timber licence for the First Nations logging company.
Huu-ay-aht citizens voted 78% in favour of the purchase at an assembly this past weekend, and will be having a vote on March 25th regarding whether or not to pursue a Liquified Natural Gas terminal with partner Steelhead LNG from Vancouver.