The public is invited to a Williams Lake Community Forest meeting about upcoming work planned for the Flat Rock area. The meeting takes place at TRU on Tuesday

The public is invited to a Williams Lake Community Forest meeting about upcoming work planned for the Flat Rock area. The meeting takes place at TRU on Tuesday

Planned community forest work topic of upcoming meeting

By early December the Williams Lake Community Forest hopes to do some work in the forest at its Flat Rock Block.

By early December the Williams Lake Community Forest hopes to do some work in the forest at its Flat Rock Block.

Crews will be removing Douglas-fir bark beetle impacted trees, reducing fire fuel at the edge of the community and thinning and building a road to access the area.

In an effort to share information about the planned work, the WLCF is hosting a public information session on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at Thompson Rivers University beginning at 6:30 p.m and invites everyone to attend.

The areas targeted will be near Hodgson Road, Buckley Drive, Birch Lane and Woodland Drive, said community forest manager Ken Day.

“We did some work in these areas before,” Day said.

“We did some Douglas-fir bark beetle salvage, laid down trap trees, hung ribbons and painted infested trees all summer.”

Some of the measures saw success, he added.

Using a different strategy along important places such as bike trails, crews put up an odour repellent to encourage the beetles to keep flying to another tree.

“Not too far away we put up trap trees, which give a very strong message to attract the beetles,” Day said, noting once one female finds a tree and deems it suitable she puts out a message to the other beetles to join her.

“That attracts males and females and once all the ‘real estate’ is occupied on one tree then they begin to send out a signal to other beetles that it’s a good spot but they are too late so keep on flying.”

There is definitely a rapid increase in the amount of impacted Douglas-fir beetle trees in the area, as well as in the Alex Fraser Research Forest area, he said.

“It is worrisome,” Day said.

Logs salvaged from the community forest will be sold to Tolko Industries and the balance of wood that cannot be salvaged as saw logs will be shipped to Atlantic Power for its biomass electrified plant in Williams Lake.

The Community Forest is a partnership between the Williams Lake Indian Band and the City of Williams Lake and has another block near Big Lake northeast of Williams Lake.