LETTER: Residents band together to protect Pass Creek watersheds
We are concerned citizens of Pass Creek, Robson and Raspberry who have united in a campaign to protect Pass Creek watersheds from the negative effects of road building and logging, and to preserve our scenic and wildlife corridor.
The Rialto Creek/Ladybird mountain area provides domestic drinking and agricultural water to approximately 2000 users along the base of the mountain. We are worried that water quality for these users is in jeopardy because of proposed cut blocks, self- regulatory logging practices and increased access of recreational vehicles. Furthermore, citizens of Robson have spent approximately $2 million upgrading their water systems in order to meet government standards, and do not want their water put in jeopardy by self regulatory logging practices, a situation that residents in Laird Creek are dealing with.
As citizens of BC we have a right to the sustainable use of forests – outlined in the Forest Practice Code of BC Act:
WHEREAS British Columbians desire sustainable use of the forests they hold in trust for future generations;
AND WHEREAS sustainable use includes:
(a) managing forests to meet present needs without compromising the needs of future generations, (b) providing stewardship of forests based on an ethic of respect for the land,
(c) balancing economic, productive, spiritual, ecological and recreational values of forests to meet the economic, social and cultural needs of peoples and communities, including First Nations, (d) conserving biological diversity, soil, water, fish, wildlife, scenic diversity and other forest resources, and
(e) restoring damaged ecologies.
Recently citizens participated in an onsite field review with Kalesnikoff Lumber Company (KLC) to understand the impacts of the proposed logging over the next 4-6 years. While the field visit provided additional information on road building and cut blocks, it did not adequately address citizen’s concerns for watershed protection. A request by KLC and individual citizens for a gate was denied by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Operations, even though gates are regularly used in the province to protect watersheds.
We understand that logging takes place in all of our valleys but we believe citizens have the right to be consulted and included in decisions that affect our watersheds and our environments.
We request the following:
•sufficient buffer zones along creeks and property boundaries to protect water sources from blow downs,
•a gate to limit access from recreational vehicles to ensure water quality and protection of wildlife and habitats,
•accurate and approved maps,
•environmentally sound logging practices,
•limited changes to view scape, and •on-going consultation.
As citizens of Pass Creek, Robson and Raspberry we believe we have rights and responsibilities to protect everyone’s water now and for future generations. Our requests are not unreasonable and are consistent with other groups and practices across the province.
Please join our efforts to protect Pass Creek watersheds for all residents. For more information visit www.protectpasscreekwatersheds.blogspot.com or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Kilby, Megan, Melissa Cline, John Voykin, Rachel Schmidt, Amber Austin, Mike Privé, Bert Franks, and Steve Drew.