Update on cleanup efforts in wake of July wind storm Print Article Font Size

IMG_1494.JPGIn the months following the July 2017 windstorm, cleanup efforts have been ongoing. It has been a long process and the Town’s works crews and contracted arborists have worked very hard to clean up, and ensure the public safety of, the Rotary Trail and many other areas in the community.

While prioritizing areas of the community needing attention, certain sections of our trail system unfortunately had to be pushed lower on the clean up priority list. As a municipality, it is our responsibility to target areas of primary concern for public safety when planning the clean up schedule. After the July storm, those priority areas included areas adjacent to homes, public parks and streets. It took tremendous effort on behalf of our crews to ensure that the many areas in our community that fall within these priority areas were at the top of the list when cleanup efforts commenced.

The blow down area behind the campground and schools, which is also the site of the new Selkirk Connector Trail development, remains probably the single largest area left to deal with in terms of clean up. Considerable damage was done in this area. There are a significant number of fir trees down and some that are still standing but will need to come down to ensure public safety.

“In the interest of a much more comprehensive clean up, and to ensure we are doing our due diligence to the taxpayer, we are currently exploring the possibility of a small-scale salvage harvest operation in the area,” says Town of Golden CAO Jon Wilsgard. “The outcomes of a small-scale harvest would protect and preserve the integrity of the trail, ensure public safety and provide a revenue source to offset the cost of the operation as the fibre would be sold locally.”

The Town has enlisted the help of professionals to assess the situation in order to explore every option for safe removal of the trees and debris caused by the storm. Given the sheer number of downed and damaged trees and the fact that a great many are likely merchantable, a small-scale salvage could well be justified.

In addition, professionals have also advised us of some forest health issues in that area – there is clear evidence of fir beetle - which may provide even more rationale for us examining the option of a small-scale harvest.

The Town will update the community on the plan of action once the results of the assessment are known and a business case for the small-scale salvage has been developed.

In the meantime, we ask that the community not enter the area as it is officially closed and is deemed unsafe at this time. In addition, we ask that the public not remove any downed timber in the area.