NO! - Reclassify the Germansen-North Road to a FSR - NO!
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Canfor wants to reclassify the Germansen-North Road from a public highway to a Forest Service Road (FSR). This is a very bad idea. Canfor's real reason to reclassify the Germansen-North Road to a FSR to use over sized trucks to increase the cubic metres per load, to reduce the number of trucks needed so their hauling costs are decreased and profits are increased. Canfor publicly announced their intentions published Feb. 7, 2018 in the Courier. Their plan is to have oversized loads, 5 m height and 3.2 m width and possibly longer length, hauled to their re-sort yard via the Apollo Shortcut. From their re-sort yard the logs will be reloaded onto 9 axle trucks to be delivered to the Canfor Plateau Mill. (On a side note-Canfor has started construction of this re-sort prior to public consultation or approval).
The Germansen-North Road is an important route for homeowners and residents of Manson Creek and Germansen Landing to access services in Fort St. James, used to transport school children, access to Hunting and Fishing Lodges, access to First Nation communities and keyohs, is a secondary egress route for Fort St. James in emergencies, access for recreationists and the Mt. Milligan crew buses transporting our wives, husbands and children. Many of our favorite well used Forest Recreation Sites are found off the Germansen-North Road.
Over-sized loads themselves have their own road safety issues:
1. Increased stopping distances,
2. Stability due to increase load height,
3. Slower speeds going uphill and over speeding on downhill grades due to increase load weights,
4. The heavier the vehicle/load, the higher its kinetic energy, resulting in greater impact forces and damage. In simpler terms, when there is an accident it will be worse because of increased weight behind the impact,
5. Wider trucks taking up more of the road surface,
6. Longer loads sweeping into on-coming traffic on corners and
7. More road maintenance issues due to increase truck/load weight.
Canfor talks about road safety and driver fatigue, which everyone is concern about. I believe they are not addressing the real reason for driver fatigue. Driver fatigue is related to how much Canfor pays their drivers. If drivers were realistically paid they wouldn’t have to get in that second load to make ends meet. They say that road reclassification will increase the number of hauling days which may increase driver fatigue. As an FSR, Ministry of Transportation spring weight restrictions will not be implemented. Weight restrictions are necessary to protect the road. Weight restrictions also give loggers and truckers a well-deserved break, reducing driver fatigue. Plus, let us not forget what Canfor did to the Teardrop FSR a year ago and it is still not fixed.
Canfor states that the RCMP and the Ministry of Forests (C&E) have the authority to enforce the “rules of the road”. This is true but in conversation with the local RCMP, I was told that they do not patrol FSRs. The local C&E staff of the Ministry of Forests is continually under staffed and presently has only two C&E officers. So....in reality neither of these parties will be enforcing the rules of the road.
Please add your name to this petition if you oppose the reclassification of the Germansen-North Road to a FSR.
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