Forum will discuss Duhamel watershed

The Duhamel Watershed Society says competing uses of the watershed need to be better managed.

The Duhamel Watershed Society says competing uses of the watershed need to be better managed.They're holding a public forum on June 16.

The Duhamel Watershed Society will hold a community forum on June 16. They want to hear the public’s concerns and ideas about roads, trails, water, logging, forestry, wildfire management, and public recreation in the watershed.

About 1,100 people live on the alluvial fan of Duhamel Creek, and about 600 people get their drinking water from the streams in the valley.

The forum will hear from two guest speakers Rami Rothkop and Erik Leslie from the Harrop-Procter Community Forest, to explain their model of ecosystem-based forest management.

“The Duhamel watershed is very well used,” says society member Randi Jensen. “There is logging, tourism and local community usage, but there is no one agency overseeing it in a wholistic, well-managed way. Sometimes the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing because there are so many entities up there.”

The society recently hired a hydrologist to map and study the extensive network of roads and trails in the watershed, some of which were built a century ago. This information will contribute to a long-term ecosystem based forest management plan, Jensen says.

She says a number of slides have been attributed to decommissioned roads, and the society is concerned they aren’t being sufficiently monitored. Slides affect water sources, riparian zones, and wildlife corridors, Jensen says, and some are the result of ATVers and others opening up decommissioned roads.

The society will also conduct a recreational use survey in the watershed.

Jensen said Kalesnikoff Lumber, which has a timber tenure in the watershed, has been invited to the forum, which will take place at the L’école des sentiers-Alpins (formerly A.I. Collinson school), at 2780 Highway 3A, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

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