Ymir resident Jason Leus at the community’s water source. Photo: Will Johnson

LETTER: Ymir logging decisions should be local

From reader Richard White…

Re: “Ymir watershed delegation headed to Victoria

I read with concern Will Johnson’s latest coverage on Ymir’s struggle to protect their fragile water supply.

What’s unclear is why ILMA and BCTS “need” to log in our watersheds. Is it because all of the low hanging fruit lie in our watersheds? Is it because there is easy access in watersheds, access and infrastructure communities have built to protect their water? Why are BCTS and ILMA getting a pass on tax payer improvements?

We are not, as Mr. Kalesnikoff suggests, “all on the same page.” Nor are Mr. Laroche and Ms. Mungall’s reassurances that the process will sort this out soothing. ILMA, BCTS and FLNRO are more than capable of hijacking that process. Examine the record.

BCTS and ILMA have been skimming the cream off the top of the pail for nearly five decades, with zero accountability for their actions and activities. Why are they “running out” of “other areas to harvest from?” Mismanagement of our timber perhaps?

BCTS and the ILMA know full well tree farms are not the mature forest needed to support a watershed. Mr. Laroche believes that BCTS can leave a tiny oasis at the heart of Ymir’s vital collection zone while “harvesting” the surrounding watershed with impunity based on “science.” He has also been quoted elsewhere as saying no hydrology report has ever stopped BCTS activities.

BCTS refuses to hold public meetings with the communities they impact. It’s easier to deny the reality of their actions if they can ignore the people they affect. They prey on our sympathies for hardworking blue collar logging families with false economic arguments that jobs and profits for a few in the short term are worth an entire community’s health and future in the long term.

BCTS and ILMA employ the appearance of authority to place a stranglehold on public process.

The decision about who has the control of water and community watersheds must be in the hands of the communities who depend on such systems for their livelihood and vitality. The insensitivity and irresponsibility of FLNRO, BCTS, and ILMA must be viewed in the light of these greater concerns.

Richard White

Vernon, formerly of Ymir

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