Tolko

Plans by Vernon-based Tolko Industries could threaten the source of Lake Country's drinking water, town staff and members of a civic committee say.

A planned logging operation near Lake Country could pose a threat to the town’s water system, a civic committee says.

Vernon-based Tolko plans a 17.4-hectare cutblock near the town’s water intake on Vernon Creek.

Land in the proposed cutblock area is very unstable and could “slide into Vernon Creek, causing major water quality issues,” according to a report from Lake Country town staff.

“District of Lake Country staff have met with Tolko to voice our concerns and the impact (the proposed operation) could have on our drinking water,” reads part of the report, which went to town council on Tuesday evening.

Members of the town’s water service advisory committee have already voted to ask council to formally oppose Tolko’s logging plans. But despite that recommendation, council took no action on the matter, referring it back to staff.

Earlier this year, the town of Peachland called for the B.C. government to impose a moratorium on new forestry operations in that community’s watershed.

“We’re very concerned that the logging up there is interfering with the natural barriers that protect our watershed and nature,” Peachland Mayor Cindy Fortin said in July.

Subsequently, the Forest Practices Board produced a report that said forestry west of Peachland was not responsible for frequent boil-water notices in Peachland.

Natural environmental factors, such as heavy snow and rain, can cause organic material to wash down into the creek that supplies Peachland’s drinking water, the board stated in the report.

Overall, the board said, holders of forestry licences near Peachland did a “good job” of minimizing environmental impact of logging in the town’s watershed.