27th July 2019
This e-mail is going out to MANY individuals in MANY communities. How about each of you work on this??
It is so important and if we don’t push hard NOW..our chances for changes will be decreased even more.
Please...help out here!
From: Taryn Skalbania
Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2019 9:46 AM
Subject: Media Release: District of Peachland writes to the province asking for a “pause” in logging operations ANOTHER CALL FOR A MORATORIUM IN BC
Greetings Forest Community,
It appears that local government and the Province are starting to respond to public pressure on forestry.
As a former Vancouverite who has lived in Peachland for the past 26 years it is my observation also that a call for a moratorium on clear cutting in our watersheds is necessary. At least until an immediate, full watershed assessment is produced by independent, qualified professionals (know anyone!)
In the meantime, our Victoria based forester has a possible solution, via legislative change:
Ray Travers RPF (ret’d) suggests the Province of B.C. change land use designations in watersheds, like B.C. uses for ALR farmland: “a supply of high quality, safe drinking water in community watersheds would be the dominant use. Other uses would occur to the extent they are compatible. A conflicting or competitive use would not be permitted to occur in a community watershed.”
“This concept is an alternative to the current integrated use concept, which has resulted in large negative cumulative effects on non-timber resources, and a depleted commercial timber supply with numerous sawmills and pulp mills permanently closing in B.C."
It’s a bold idea but it could save B.C.’s 450 threatened community watersheds. It has worked to keep developments out of farmlands; it could be used to keep development out of functioning forests. The ALR Land Commission was set up in the early 1970’s to administer protection of agricultural land, including managing all the issues that inevitably occur.
I am hoping other individuals and communities pick up on both these radical story ideas and run with them; a muni asking for a moratorium and a Retired Registered Forest Professional (RFP) calls for new land use designations!
It is my intention to organize PWPA members to LOBBY ALL OTHER COMMUNITIES AND WATERSHED GROUPS ACROSS BC, all NGOs, and the local governments across the province to take this letter of support we got from our muni council and take it to their muni councils and RDs and local governments to see if we can get an up-swell, a paradigm shift, and a louder voice behind us all rallying for the same thing; putting new ‘designated priority use’ zoning in community watersheds because the Timber first dominant use model of past years has not been working, it has given us:
Dirty water, boil water advisories lasting months
The need to build unaffordable Water Treatment Plants
Visual quality objectives lost
Loss of OLD growth
Spawned 100+ anti logging groups
Shut down near to 220 mills
Lost many thousands of forestry jobs and related sector jobs
Lost % s in GDP
Old methods are not working; it is time to try something new, as quoted last week in STOP THE SPRAY:
“We're confused. We've been spraying all the moose food and contaminating our wild blueberries in the name of the economy, and then they shut the mills down anyway? So now we don't have jobs, good hunting, and we can't pick wild blueberries and tell people they are pure, wild berries to sell at the farmer's market? We also don't have nearly as much fast growing aspen for other industries anymore? Because we threw our entire lot in with a single product line dominated by a couple mega corps that hang us out to dry the moment things get tight? Even though they almost made $1 billion in profit last year? Awesome.”
So...in essence what we at the Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance, are asking for is protection; protection not unlike the security 51% of the province’s population or Vancouver and Victoria have today for their water, protection similar to reinstating the former map or watershed reserve models that Will Koop (BC Tap Water Alliance) has researched, protection akin to the Great Bear Rain Forest, Haida Gwaii and the Gitanyow have earned with agreements and reductions to their AAC from new land based, local, community plans.
The province will need our assistance to reframe this. If we did get comments/push back that some industry prone elected local governments, will still want to allow industrial logging in their watersheds, we can go back to the ALR analogy and say Provincial legislation would also be needed. (Another alternative might be a Forester General, who is above politics like the Auditor General)
This new commission might be called the Community Water Conservation Authority or...?
PWPA will need your help. Just as Bruce and Nicole of the Merville Water Stewards have rallied troops and groups all across the province to lobby their MLAs to stop selling aquifer water for commercial use, we can organize ourselves to contact all MLAs for moratorium and designated priority use in community watersheds.
To build government relations, I have been told we need to help them help us, so instead of more complaining we give them a way to protect their communities and still build a vibrant sustained industry while keeping a healthy ecosystem.
Let’s move this forward and see if it can be adopted and build a forestry practice that works; some watersheds, like Creston community forests, as can keep their low impact logging if it is a decision that suits them, others like Glade can say NO thanks to logging, Apex could say only logging that does not hamper its dominant use, recreation, Grand Forks can prioritize safe flood plains and Chetwynd can selectively cut if that is suits them. If it works, it will be a win for all communities experiencing the negative effects of logging.
The province says it wants transparency and to build trust in forestry. Let’s see what the people of BC want for their communities and their community watersheds.
Yesterday’s news release attached as well the original Peachland Council letter to Minister Doug Donaldson.
Please let me know if your organization is able to lobby their local government too for a moratorium and if your community groups wish to help us explore the idea of ‘dominate use zonings’ in watersheds.
Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance