Managing forests with mountain bikers in mind

“Recreation” might sound like all fun and games, but managing a forest with that aim is anything but. It requires a lot of careful planning, balancing of values and hard work.

“A working forest is an area where we manage for all the social and environmental and economic values. In this area our intent is to manage for the recreational values,” said Frank Varga, General Manager of the Burns Lake Community Forest (BLCF), during a public tour near Kager Lake on June 26.

That area – including Boer Mountain – is part the BLCF’s Kager Recreation Area Polygon (forestry management unit) and comprises about 2,849 hectares. Of that, the project area proposed for activities is 1,300 ha and 174 ha was slated for harvesting.

The purpose of the project was to reduce the fire hazards in the area where one of the main users is the Burns Lake Mountain Biking Association (BLMBA) and to start the process of protecting infrastructure on Boer Mountain, including the valuable radio tower.

“And in doing so generate a social and economic value by putting our community members to work,” Varga said.

 

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IMAGE: Frank Varga, General Manager of the Burns Lake Community Forest (BLCF) speaks at Kager Lake during a public tour of part of the BLCF. (Blair McBride photos)