LETTER: Forest stewardship plan raises concerns about 49 Creek

Reader Mike Devine is concerned about the effects of logging on the Blewett water supply.

With regards to Kalesnikoff’s upcoming forest stewardship plan No. 597, I have two concerns, one general and the other specific.

My general concern is that lumber companies in this area are running out of suitable timber and with that will come more pressure to log into areas that were previously considered unfeasible due to lack of suitable profit and environmental considerations, and to log using archaic practices such as clearcutting which have been abandoned by many European countries in favour of more sustainable and less catastrophic methods.

There seems to be no legal means of preventing this. The companies are able to establish plans with the aid of their hired consultants doing environmental impact studies and these are presented for public comment after the Ministry of Forests has stamped its approval. This is a classic case of the fox guarding the hen house.

My specific concern relates to logging on 49 Creek. During the past two years Kalesnikoff has proceeded to harvest two blocks on 49 Creek. That they would cut on such slopes is shocking to anyone viewing from the road and really does defy common sense. The foreseeable problems here are not only with slope stability but more importantly with water catchment and retention.

My fear is that these cuts will continue down the creek in the future. There is valuable timber there but there is a more valuable resource that’s being tampered with and that is water.

Current concerns regarding future water supplies are widespread particularly with residents in the Blewett area who lost their wells last summer. Recent articles and letters in the Nelson Star have focused on the City of Nelson’s water problems and the need to establish more sources than they have at present.

With the growth in the city and the area of Blewett it is reasonable that the water of 49 Creek could become extremely valuable in the near future. Simply stated, why tamper with such an established source of this essential resource?

Mike Devine

Director

Blewett Conservation Society

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