West Bragg Creek Logging report – Feb 8

Here is the status of logging activities in the West Bragg area courtesy of Bruce Barker, Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association

On Monday Feb. 11,  the historic logging road on Crystal Line eastSundog east and Iron Springs trails will be reactivated for use as a haul road, and these trails will not be recommended for recreational use.  

Logging has progressing southward from the north end of Telephone Loop to the parking lot at West Bragg Creek. The haul road built from the north end has reached the Mountain Road approximately 0.5 km west of the parking lot.  The Mountain Road is being used as an access and haul road and will not be accessible for trail users for the rest of the ski season. This haul road is being used to move the timber out to the north, rather than through Bragg Creek.

Blocks 1 through 14, (with the exception of Block 12),  north of the parking lot have active logging with felling, skidding, processing and decking occurring, and log hauling in many of the blocks. If using trails north and west of the parking lot, please use caution around active logging sites and when crossing haul roads and skid trails.

Ski Trails

  • Telephone Loop:  Remains useable with a 100 m section paralleling a haul road on the northwest corner, and one haul road crossing in the northwest as well.
  • Snowshoe Hare trail is unaffected.
  • Mountain Road:  After Jan 28, 2013, please avoid use of the Mountain Road.  Crystal Line west ski trail is recommended for access to Moose Loop and Telephone Loop.
  • Moose Connector: Use caution when crossing Mountain Road.
  • The historic logging road on Crystal Line eastSundog east and Iron Springs trails will be reactivated for use as a haul road, and these trails will not be recommended for recreational use.
  • * All other ski trails are currently unaffected.

All-Season Trails

  • Disconnect trail construction is not complete, and with logging in Block 8 and 6, should be avoided.
  • Caution is advised on Long Distance and Reconnect as trail users may encounter active logging.
  • Demi-Tel currently has one road crossing.
  • Three skid trails cross the southern portion of Long Distance.
  • Logging road crosses Bragging Rights, southern Long DistanceDemi-TelDisconnect, and north Long Distance.
10 comments… add one
  • B. Nov 16, 2014, 2:37 pm

    I am referring to the mature spruce and pine forest

  • Alf Skrastins Nov 16, 2014, 8:38 am

    Which “original forest” are you talking about at Bragg Creek? The pine forest that grew up after 100 years of active fire suppression or the grassland that existed there due to First Nations burning prior to the 1880s?

  • B. Nov 16, 2014, 8:13 am

    Cut blocks have a long term not a short term impact. Yes they do grass over reasonably fast (think Maclean) but even if they are replanted they are almost aleays replanted without thought to the original forest makeup. Also, having these machines trample the forest aw an irreversable effect on the duff layers which in turn alters the mycorrizhae, most of which grows in the duff layer. In terms of forestry this is not a big deal because the duff no longer needs to support the types of trees once growing there. Also, the nature of the forest floor is what really defines the forest ecosystem. It is also what makes the forest so beautiful.
    If you look at reforestation zones throughout the Kananaskis (especially WB) you will notice they are not at all like the original forest and probably never will be.

  • Alf Skrastins Nov 15, 2014, 10:47 pm
  • Alf Skrastins Nov 15, 2014, 10:45 pm

    There won’t be any more logging activity on or near the West Bragg Creek trails… so you can just go ahead and enjoy the trails.
    Here are some photos of the trails (and recent logging cut blocks) from the summer.
    The recent forestry operations have had no negative impact on the number of trail users at West Bragg Creek. The trails are getting used more than ever. Yes, logging has a short-term visual impact, but the blocks do green up and the forest re-grows. About half of the trails in the West Bragg Creek area were historically logging roads, seismic lines or oil/gas roads. The last phase of logging will most likely result in the addition of some more ski trails in a couple of years.

  • B. Nov 15, 2014, 9:32 pm

    Oh no

  • Alf Skrastins Nov 15, 2014, 12:33 am

    The logging on Boundary Ridge (east of Iron Springs) and on Telephone Ridge (inside Telephone Loop) and a block west of West Crystal Line and SE of Tom Snow trail was completed in 2013. The hauling of the logs from those blocks was completed in by spring 2014. After that, debris was cleaned up and/or mulched on those blocks. The haul roads to those blocks were reclaimed to the original slope shape by October 2014.
    During last winter, another series of blocks was harvested farther to the west. There are some cut blocks along the west side of Moose Loop and west of Tom Snow Trail and along both sides of “Ridgeback” and Ranger Creek. All logs were hauled out to Highway #66 near Station Flats. Those blocks are scheduled to be prepared for tree planting in the spring. Some more logging is scheduled for this winter along the east slopes of Moose Mountain, so it will be about 2016 before those haul roads will be reclaimed.

  • B. Nov 14, 2014, 3:15 pm

    Thanks. I haven’t been to West Bragg since February last, just before Tony made this post. How for did cutting extend after this?

  • Alf Skrastins Nov 14, 2014, 12:38 am

    All logging in the area of the West Bragg Creek trails has been completed. XC trails like Iron Springs and Crystal Line that were used as haul roads have been restored and upgraded for the 2014/15 season. Mountain Road is back to being a ski trail.
    Any logging debris on the slopes on Boundary Ridge (east of Iron Springs Trail) has been mulched and it has already started to grass over. All haul roads on Boundary Ridge, Telephone Ridge and west of West Crystal Line have been reclaimed. One section of haul road was converted to ski trail and is part of the new “Mountain View” XC trail.
    All trails have already been roller-packed, but the snowpack is only about 15cm, so expect early season hazards like thin areas, ruts, protruding dirt clods and a few stones. This will all smooth out as more snow falls and gets groomed.

  • B. Nov 6, 2014, 9:20 am

    What’s happened since?
    On Feb 1 Iron Springs was logging road and the whole hillside was cut of course but since it was weekend we skied partway diwn the road to Elbow and went down to Allen Bill

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