April 28, 2018
It's no longer far-fetched to think the Tet could be roaded and logged.
The BC NDP government is proposing to declassify Tetrahedron Provincial Park to a "protected area" under the Environmental Land Use Act. As an ELUA protected area, the declassified lands would be managed for maximum beneficial land use. The designation would allow Sunshine Coast Regional District to proceed with its contentious plan to further drain Chapman and Edwards lakes. By fall 2019, a new 1-meter diameter outlet pipe will be commissioned with the ability to drawdown Chapman Lake 8 meters to 56% of its lake full surface area.
In 2007, SCRD commissioned Dayton & Knight Consulting Engineers to study increasing water storage capacity. It looked at three options:
- Raising Chapman Lake dam
- Floating pump station on Chapman Lake
- Manufactured lake at a rock quarry near Sechelt
Raising Chapman Lake dam and the floating pump station were identified as preferred options. The manufactured lake was evaluated as the most desirable option but is considered longer term as the quarry is still in operation until 2050. The option to raise the dam was saddled with two major problems. (1) It is located in a provincial park and there would be land use and permitting issues inside a provincial park. (2) The core material and concrete for the dam would need to be imported from outside the park. Without road access, material would have to be delivered by air.
The study was updated in 2013 by AECOM Canada Ltd. The commissioning of the 1-meter pipe in 2019 would make the floating pump station option redundant. Declassification of the park to a protected area would mean that a road could be built without going through a permitting process in a provincial park.
The new dam would be 4 meters higher and would flood an additional 5.6 hectares of old growth forest, which would be logged.
There you have it — road and log the Tetrahedron, no longer far-fetched.