Letters to the editor 

This weeks letters

Rethink Pemberton logging

Dear Ms. Bernice Patterson,

I write with respect to your company’s advertised amendment to its 2000-2004 Forest Development Plan covering Weyerhaeser’s Pemberton timber licences, to express my concern at your expressed intentions to exercise your timber licence over cut blocks 800-5 and 800-6. I am concerned at the ecological and visual impact this will have on the community and urge your companies to focus their operations elsewhere. These concerns are outlined below.

Contravening the IWMP

As a Pemberton resident and home-owner, I am concerned at the impact the town’s rapid growth and development is having on its environment. The town is already struggling with sewerage treatment capacity, endless construction, and increasing commercial tourism impacts. All these things need to be monitored diligently, and planning processes and forums go a long way towards managing decision-making.

Such a process was undertaken in the valley in the early 1980s. The Integrated Watershed Management Plan was a product of extensive consultation, with various stakeholders and experts at the table. The efforts put into the production of these documents is completely wasted if they aren’t used as guiding resources.

The IWMP provides for a limited annual logging within the watershed — a contract for the entire permissible amount already exists. For CRB/Weyerhaeuser to exercise their timber licence here will breach the recommendations made in the IWMP, and negatively impact your company’s reputation as a good corporate citizen, flying in the face of guidelines that were developed co-operatively, accounting for all the stakeholders involved.

Impacting the community’s watershed

Quality of surface water is a primary concern for residential and community drinking supplies, and the proposed logging runs directly through the community of Pemberton’s watershed. The watershed is so vital to the community, to both water quality and the safety of our drinking water, that any activity that may have a deleterious impact on the watershed should be guarded against, and a precautionary approach adopted.

The long-term cost of remediating the watershed, or working around damage to provide alternate sources of community water are such that this licence should not be exercised. CRB/Weyerhaeuser have not shown they can adequately manage the impacts on Pemberton Creek and the upper riparian zone, the fish stocks in that creek, as well as other wildlife that inhabit the area. The consequences are so far-reaching for the ecology of the region that I urge you to reconsider your intention to operate these blocks.

Fire and Landslide hazards

As a rural community, we are vulnerable to "acts of God", such as wildfires and landslides. We need to guard against developments that will increase our susceptibility to fire and landslide. The slash left behind in this cut-block will increase Pemberton’s vulnerability to fire, in a climate of already high wildfire threat rating.

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