Revelstoke mountain bikers rally against logging

About 150 people showed up in support for the Save Macpherson rally at Mount Macpherson on Saturday, May 21, opposing the proposed logging that will impact popular mountain biking and nordic skiing trails later this year.

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Revelstoke residents showed up to the Save Macpherson rally on Saturday May 21, opposing logging at Mount Macpherson. Photo: Emily Kemp/Revelstoke Mountaineer

On the same day as Revelstoke celebrated its timber history with Timber Day, a rally against logging took place at the Mount Macpherson Nordic Lodge.

About 150 people showed up to the Save Macpherson rally. Many were decked out in blue Save Macpherson T-shirts and mountain biking gear, ready to ride the trails in a demonstration of the local biking spirit they are fighting to preserve.

Photo: Jake Philpott
Revelstoke residents attended the Save Macpherson rally at the Mount Macpherson Nordic Lodge on Saturday May 21. Photo: Jake Philpott

Logging company B.C. Timber Sales (BCTS) is anticipating to log a 14.5 hectare area on Mount Macpherson later this year. The cut block will impact the upper part of TNT and Ridgewalk trails — a popular part of the mountain biking and Nordic skiing area.

The date for logging is not set, but it is expected for late August or early September and will last about a month.

Mountian biking is a popular activity at Mount Macpherson. Photo: Jake Philpott
Mountian biking is a popular activity at Mount Macpherson. Photo: Jake Philpott

Save Macpherson is a group of concerned local residents who are hoping to slow this process down. Jordie McTavish, one of the residents behind it, said their petition has so far received about 3,000 signatures. He also said 300 letters have been sent to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Norm Macdonald, MLA Columbia River–Revelstoke, brought the issue up in provincial government on Thursday May 19.

McTavish, in his speech at the rally, said the group wants more community input with BCTS, and said hearings that occurred last year were not a democratic process.

“Save Macpherson is not against logging,” he said. “There are only so many places to recreate in a community forest and many places to log outside of this area.

“Save Macpherson will not stop until the community of Revelstoke has had the opportunity to be properly and adequately heard in a formal public hearing.”

Save Macpherson's Jordie McTavish claps as a local resident makes a statement at the Save Macpherson rally on Saturday May 21. Photo: Emily Kemp/Revelstoke Mountaineer
Save Macpherson’s Jordie McTavish claps as a local resident makes a statement at the Save Macpherson rally on Saturday May 21. Photo: Emily Kemp/Revelstoke Mountaineer

A number of residents also stood up to make statements. Matt Yaki, of Wandering Wheels, questioned the gradual disintegration of the forest if this logging went ahead.

“Every tree in Macpherson has a number on it,” Yaki said. “What happens if we’re back here in six years fighting the same thing? That’s why we’re doing this.”

McTavish estimated the profit from this logging exercise, using the calculation of 5,573 cubic metres at $50, would come in at over $250,000. He said that money wouldn’t be going into a local company or back into the local community.

“We think the community believes that there is more money in the forest standing, and keeping it the way it is, than in a short term plan which is the harvest of 15 hectares,” he told the Mountaineer.

For background on the ongoing Mount Macpherson logging story, see our archives here.

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Emily Kemp is a staff reporter for the Revelstoke Mountaineer. She's an experienced news journalist with a background in daily newspapers and radio. Contact Emily by email at emily@revelstokemountaineer.com or by phone at 250-272-1773.