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Recreation site in qathet region closed due to dangerous trees

Nanton Lake campsite undergoing restoration, according to provincial ministry of environment and climate change strategy

Nanton Lake recreation site is undergoing restoration to make the qathet region campsite safer.

After the Peak was alerted to trees having been felled at the site, a query was made to the provincial ministry of environment and climate change strategy. A written response was received.

The ministry stated that it is working on a reopening plan for the Nanton Lake recreation site. Nanton Lake is a local campsite that has been enjoyed by generations of local residents, but has unfortunately been closed for camping over the past year due to an unsafe red alder stand that is fully mature, diseased, and has become a significant safety risk to campers, according to the ministry.

Recreation Sites and Trails BC has completed an ecological assessment of the campsite and has begun a project to remove more than 200 red alder trees from the area to make the site safe for camping in the coming 2023 season, the ministry stated.

According to the ministry, red alder is a fast growing and short-lived species which rarely survives beyond 60 to 70 years. Red alder naturally declines and fails at this stage of life when secondary understory trees begin to take over the canopy, according to the statement.

During the removal of the trees at Nanton Lake, all measures were taken to protect waterways, creeks and to avoid damage to healthy conifer trees, the ministry stated. Following the removal of the red alder stand, Recreation Sites and Trails BC will replant native conifer trees to replace the red alder, which is a natural succession of tree species in this ecosystem.

The work is currently underway and Recreation Sites and Trails BC anticipates the site will reopen prior to May 1. Due to public health and safety, the ministry is requesting that the public refrain from visiting the lake until it has been officially reopened.

Adam Culos, manager of Thichum Forest Products, said the company, along with Gadpro Contracting, another local company, have been involved in the Nanton Lake project.

“It takes a bunch of people to do things and a bunch of people helped out,” added Culos.

He said the Nanton Lake campsite had been closed for about a year and a half because of the dangerous trees, and that Thichum took on the project and is endeavouring to make sure the campsite is open for the summer. The wood that was harvested was donated to Powell River Logger Sports and the forest wardens of Powell River.

“We are trying to reclaim the site, do a good job and get it opened up for the campers,” said Culos. “At the end of the day, Recreation Sites and Trails BC has a good plan in place to provide a good camping experience. We’re just happy we can help out as part of the community.”