The dust dropped on Youbou roads and properties by logging trucks passing through town is a constant problem for residents and government. (Gazette file)

The dust dropped on Youbou roads and properties by logging trucks passing through town is a constant problem for residents and government. (Gazette file)

Bypass road suggested as cure for problem of logging truck dust in Youbou

It’s a never-ending problem with truckloads of logs tracking dust along the only road through Youbou.

Fighting the dust in Youbou is an ongoing battle.

Logging trucks hauling loads from forests west of the community along the only road east carry dust or mud and debris with them, dropping it along Youbou Road, especially near the west end of the community. At times the dust is so thick visibility becomes near zero, and homes along the road habitually keep their windows and doors closed to try to keep out the mess.

Area director Klaus Kuhn has been talking again with TimberWest about it.

He is hoping to hold a town hall meeting before the end of August so that Youbou residents and property owners can learn the details of a possible plan by the company to construct a logging road higher up the mountain side that would bypass the entire community, hopefully taking the dust with it.

A truck wash has been constructed, with the idea of seeing drivers clean their trucks before they even get to Youbou but the problem continues.

“You know the dust problem has been really bad for a long time. We’ve had many meetings about it, more lately so than ever,” Kuhn said last week.

“I’d just like to get that problem solved. The truck wash is just not doing it. It’s just not strong enough, and it’s not big enough to clean the loads. It’s just insufficient.”

Now the discussion has turned to a new solution.

“At a meeting with some members of the Youbou Community Association, the question came up: would a bypass be possible? I had brought that idea up myself about six years ago but back then the answer was that there was no way. The terrain was too steep, and that they [TimberWest] couldn’t do it. So when the question came up again recently, TimberWest said they’d have a look at it and consider it.

“That kind of surprised me, but I think they know that if they keep driving through the town they can’t get away from the dust. You can’t solve that problem, it’s just not possible. So they are now looking seriously at a bypass. They had some geologists in there and they have done geological testing and they are going to do some more. They have also put up some tapes, I understand, as an indication where a road could be. They’re testing along these lines to see if there’d be any possibility of building that road up there.

“They haven’t indicated to me yet where the road would come down. I don’t know if that possibility will ever come to anything. Looking at that mountain, it would not be an easy job to put a logging road in there,” he said.

“The only thing they might plan is to do some partial logging up there. I was concerned when they mentioned that the first time because I would not like to see anything like what happened in Honeymoon Bay, where they erased the whole hillside but [above Youbou] all they could do was spot logging.”

Kuhn wants to see whatever information is available get out to the public.

“So, that’s where it’s sitting right now. They haven’t made any decision. It’s going to take a while…There are so many rumours floating around. It’s so destructive, because rumours are never positive, they’re always negative. You get all this stuff; I don’t like rumours. My aim is to get everything out to the public so they finally know what might be happening.”