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27th June 2019

This note below is from our northern most VIWWC member. My heart is absolutely sickened. It must stop NOW!
Western Forest has just commenced logging in the Newcastle Creek Community Watershed. The Village of Sayward obtains it's drinking water from this watershed, which is on Crown land, has never been logged before and contains all old growth timber.

The Village of Sayward has just completed the installation of a water treatment facility, mandated by Island Health, but village residents are back on a boil water notice despite the treatment facility. Island Health called for the water treatment facility 6 years ago because of Western's clear cut logging at the base of the watershed, which resulted in mud coming from resident's taps instead of water.

The Village of Sayward received a $3 million grant from the B. C. (Liberal) Government, but when tenders were called the lowest bid was $5 million. The Village has been scrambling for the other funds, and have proceeded with the installation of the water treatment facility so that Western Forest can proceed with logging.

One of the cut-blocks that Western is logging is directly above the deer and elk winter reserve at the top of the mountain range.

Western Forest has been warned that clear-cutting the area could precipitate a slide with catastrophic results. The Village of Sayward has applied to the B.C. Government to create a Community Forest in the watershed and has recruited the K'omox Band (Nanwakolas) which have marked the old-growth trees that they want left behind when clear-cut logging takes place. The K'omox Band has erected a totem pole at Sayward Village to solidify the arrangement.

The Mayor and CAO have had consultations with Western Forest, the Chief Forester, the K'omox Band and Island Health concerning the logging of the watershed and the water treatment plant. The Mayor and Council has NEVER consulted the Village residents and taxpayers.

The Village of Sayward would be an ideal place to have a Direct Action Workshop. Jack