A clearcut in Oregon. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

LETTER: Standing up to clear cutting

From reader Tom Prior

On a recent smoky summer day at the north end of Kootenay Lake two young women found the courage to stand up against our collective climate crisis and the carbon intensive industrial long haul clear-cut logging taking place from Kaslo, Nakusp, and the Lardeau.

The two peacefully stood there as a huge 18-wheel machine inched up to their face. Neither own property in the unincorporated village of Argenta that is subject to the anxiety of clear-cut road logging in their domestic watershed.

Their goal was to begin dialogue with BC government, forest ministry and woodlot owner about global warming. They felt like they had no choice as our local political representatives are buying votes by ignoring the massive carbon footprint of deforestation and long hauling of unprocessed logs down narrow highways from Kaslo/Nakusp/Lardeau forests.

They want federal and BC politicians to take our climate crisis seriously and fix some obvious shortcomings in Canada’s forestry policy. Their act of peaceful civil disobedience did not inconvenience the non-ceded crown woodlot lease holder, as most of the healthy prime forest at the west edge of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy were already dead on the ground, releasing vast amounts of carbon from exposed old growth soil and waiting to spend more carbon with a long haul to distant mills.

Zero mill jobs in Cooper/Meadow Creek, Kaslo and Nakusp while thousands of heavily-loaded carbon-filthy logging trucks crowd our highways. Who cares about our local economy, safety and environment?

Certainly not our NDP, Liberal or Green representatives. They have personal wealth and appear to be oblivious to a value-added economy and lowering of carbon footprint that milling local timber creates.

While their act of courage did not stop the clear-cutting, it released the feeling of helplessness that haunts many good folk today.

Perhaps their fearless action will inspire other local worried communities with domestic watersheds that are also facing Canada’s aggressive forestry unions and timber barons.

Tom Prior


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