Logging project stands at 110 acres

Published on Thu, Nov 6, 2003
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Logging project stands at 110 acres

Trillium�s chief operating officer Jon Syre walked into an annual Semiahmoo Resort meeting last weekend and was questioned about the 400 acres scheduled to be logged. The 400 acres, he said, should be �a little over 100.�

City officials apparently misidentified the acreage planned to be logged, and estimated the land to be 400 and publicly announced so; however, the real amount of acreage is about 100, according to both Syre and Blaine�s community planning director Terry Galvin. The project was also previously misidentified as Route 66.

�The project is in fact called East of Eden and the proposed harvest unit that we have approval for in a class 3 permit is inside city of Blaine limits, west of Semihamoo Parkway and north of Bayview Road. At one point, the area�s also south of Semiahmoo Parkway.�

Amid city officials� concerns about the logging and the future of the area�s environment, Trillium is meeting with the city to address those concerns, Syre said.

�We are working with the city on the possibility of a class 4 permit,� he said, adding the company has an approved class 3 permit. �They (the city) are legally appealing my class 3 permit and I wanted to work with the city to alleviate some of their concerns.�

The city, Galvin said, is concerned with the process of development in this area and the overall planning of the site. Currently, Trillium owns the land; however the ALRT Corporation owns the timber. When asked how long they have owned the timber, Syre did not know.

�We want to see a planning process involving the developer, community representation and the public as a whole,� he said. The class 3 permit Trillium currently has states that the land would be a rotating crop and subject to a 10-year moratorium on development.

In response to this permit, Galvin said, the city took a very strong stand that indeed it is not logical or rational to feel the land fell into a class 3 permit, considering the company�s development.

�We have no specific plans right now,� Syre said about development in the area encompassing the 110 acres.

In addition to the concern relating to the process of development, city officials are concerned that the class 3 permit overrides city of Blaine regulations. If the permit was a class 4, the city could then have more legal influence, according to city attorney Jon Sitkin.

Should Semiahmoo Corp. receive a class 4 permit, it would have to submit a development plan in compliance with city of Blaine regulations, undergo a SEPA review and clearing permit.

When asked what the difference is between a class 3 and class 4 permit, Syre noted the different requirements for harvest boundaries and harvest procedures.

Logging debris
Previous logging of more than 400 acres in the Semiahmoo area � outside of Blaine city limits � by Trillium has left a large number of debris piles. As for the cleanup of the debris, Syre said his company is looking into ways to dispose of the piles. �We have removed stumps from the majority of area we harvested and piled them. We did a test burn in the summer time that was done with Department of Natural Resources, which was successful,� he said, adding that around the time of that test burn, an arsonist burned five acres.

�We are currently investigating other means of disposal of the stumps and associated debris through chipping. The end result will be a combination most likely of chipping and burning to remove debris,� Syre said.