A September 6, 2013 letter to the editor submitted by Kim Green — P Geo, PhD Candidate of Apex Geosience Consultants Ltd. — takes exception to the alleged position I have taken on the Duhamel Creek logging road issue.
First of all I would like to point out that newspaper reporters do not always report what was said but what they understood to be said. My conversation with this particular reporter lasted less than 30 seconds and consisted of two questions: 1) Did I believe Duhamel Creek area residents were justified in their concerns regarding the recent activities in the watershed; and 2) Did I believe the public process was adequate. I stated my opinion that they were justified in their concern and that the public process was not adequate. Now this is the point where reality and the assumption of the reporter diverge.
The assumption of both the reporter and Kim Green PGeo, PHD candidate was that I shared the concern that the present activity would lead to catastrophic event, however. That has never been my position. In fact, my position is not that different from the one Kim Green P Geo, PhD candidate espoused in his/her letter to the editor.
I represent the residents of the Duhamel Creek area, therefore their concerns become my concerns. The first time many of these residents heard about what was happening was after road work had begun in their watershed. The information they received was from other residents that had become frustrated with the system which appeared to be withholding technical information upon which the authorization to proceed was based on. Furthermore, they could not understand that the authorization to proceed was granted prior to completion of an investigation by the Forest Practices Board and an investigation into evidence of work in a creek without authorization. Their conclusion “the Ministry of FLNR and/or the proponent had something to hide.”
Shortly thereafter I did manage to persuade the proponent to provide a copy of the Kim Green P Geo, PhD candidate’s report which I presented to a public meeting organized by the concerned citizens group. I also attempted to explain the constraints placed on ministry staff by legislation and the fact that it appeared that the proponent had complied with the requirements of the act. I believe that many in the audience felt less alarmed after the meeting, however there were certainly some that felt the need to escalate the defence of “their rights.”
Unfortunately I believe this situation could have been averted through the implementation of a meaningful public process where all the residents of the Duhamel Creek area could have had their concerns addressed by the proponent and by FLNR.
I have been advised by FLNR and by another PGeo that they agree with the Apex Geoscience Report which states that the activities occurring in the Duhamel Creek watershed will not significantly decrease slope stability or result in a catastrophic event. I therefore feel a little more assured than I did before, when all I had was a report attributed to someone that appears to jump to conclusion based on erroneous “facts,” limited data and assumptions.
RDCK director Area F