Letter: Regarding log boom application

Tuesday, January 24 2017

My name is John Mallett. I worked for the Ministry of Forests and Lands for 35 years. My job was in tenure management where I would review and then manage any approved applications.

What I found was that applicants who did not take the time to carry out adequate field research prior to submitting their applications were rightly destined to be rejected. In your case, I believe your interest is in merely obtaining a lease area and you don’t really care about its impacts. 

My evidence in coming to this conclusion is that you did not even have an interest in submitting your application with factual information. When asked, will there be impacts to the environment, community, access, etc. you wrote “no.” When, in fact, there are many grave impacts, and there continues to be, even assuming that your recently amended map area is correct.

You submitted improper and inaccurate maps, such that, those reviewing your application had no real sense of where your application area is. Because of that, some reviewers may not know that your application actually would potentially impact them.

I have a sense that you either submitted the application without visiting the site or you deliberately misrepresented the situation in hopes of an uninformed approval.

It is my opinion that FLNRO must reject your application because of these many flaws and negative impacts. 

The area is too crowded now.

If you were to resubmit the application I suggest you take the time to review the proposed area first. Take some pictures, talk to the current lessees about their operational needs, tides and currents. Talk to other stakeholders too, such as First Nations, residents and biologists. In other words, if obtaining a log storage area is that important to the families that work for you then you have an obligation to do all the required leg work and submit accurate and complete information.

As to your revised attached map (which, by the way, was correctly produced by FLNRO at no cost or effort on your part), I believe you have now placed your application directly in front of current booming operations and will have an unequivocal negative impact to those operations. The area is a marshalling area where current operators develop their tows. Your proposed area would also cut off access for their tugs to tend to their grounds especially during storm events. The area is also directly over top of commercial prawning grounds. Because of that alone a new application for that area should be rejected. It also continues to block the path of the Gray whale, Orca and sea lions that transit and feed in Northumberland Channel.

That map area is also very exposed to northwesterly storms and you would know that if you visited the areas. It is not a matter of there “may” be the odd northwesterly, it is a matter of how many and at what intensity the storms will be. It is also still directly in the path of boaters going to Nanaimo and Coates Marina from Mudge Island or False Narrows and back. Access through that area is especially important during the northwesterlies.

I feel it is in your best interest to carry out better field research in the Nanaimo Harbour Authority area and to comply with existing local government’s community plans and zoning, prior to any resubmission, with the understanding that it is a working harbour with long established norms and access needs. In the area you are currently fixated on there is simply no more room. All the concerns that have been expressed in the Sounder and to government are legitimate and cannot simply be dismissed as community resistance to change.

Sincerely,

~ John Mallett