Kalesnikoff and Atco plan to log in the Glade watershed starting in 2017. They will be building roads to get into our watershed and then they will be cutting down the oldest and best trees, as stated in the public meeting of Feb. 17.
Our watershed is the only source of water for 98 per cent of the community: it is the water that comes out of our taps. We have no other source. Some people get their water from small creeks, but these too would likely be affected by logging and road building. We have been working with Interior Health to remove Glade from its boil water advisory. We are deeply concerned that road building and logging in our watershed will decrease the safety of our water as the land is stripped of its filtering trees and roads cause erosion and excessive run-off that will funnel down into our water intake.
I object to the statement that Dr. Green had to “defend her credentials” — we were not attacking her credentials,we were doubtful about her impartiality as she stated categorically that “logging would have no effect on our drinking water if it was done by professionals.”
We are skeptical when she, Mr. Hodgkinson (Kalesnikoff) and Mr. Ozanne (Atco) reassure us that there is nothing to worry about. That is, if they do everything professionally, everything will be fine. (And of course, adhere to those incredibly lax and laughable government guidelines from forestry practices.) But we know, even from a perfunctory study of the effects of logging and road building on watersheds, that is simply not true. Everything will not be fine if they go ahead with their proposed logging.
The scope of the assessment was limited: it did not take road building into account, which is of concern, considering Mr. Hodgkinson stated that data would be used in their logging plan! There was an incomplete consideration of climate change, and a lack of consideration of existing sediment sources including roads and landslides. Terrain and slope stability was not considered (this is apparently done after cut blocks are laid out, which seems a little late to me). Since Kalesnikoff and Atco paid to have this hydrogeomorphic assessment done, I would assume that the built-in limitations of the report are due to the parameters set by the logging companies.
We realize that logging provides industry and jobs in the Kootenays, but given what we know of our watershed and our water system (and we know quite a bit, as we have been monitoring it for a number of years), we are deeply concerned, and yes, outraged: that the basic human right to clean, safe water is being brought into dispute by industrial practices.
H. McSwan, Glade