Concerns about logging in our region

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I’ve been hearing some concerns about logging in our region and wanted you to know what I have been doing on these issues with a post here.

First, I have brought up these concerns directly to the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development on several occasions and either his office has responded directly to local residents or I have relayed information on his and the ministry’s behalf.

In addition, I have been working with Ymir residents since Spring 2017 to ensure the quality and quantity of their water source. This Fall, I wrote and sent a letter to all Ymir residents with an update on this important issue and have included it below in case anyone hasn’t received it.

I have also personally met with long-time Argenta residents regarding their concern for Argenta face and my office continues to work with them so that the Ministry of Forests and they have an open line of communication and the community has the information they need for their advocacy.

Along with presenting petitions collected by those wanting to ensure good forest practices in Argenta area, I have presented similar petitions to the Legislative Assembly in Victoria for Laird Creek near Balfour.

My office continues to work with the communities to ensure their water quality and quantity is secure. If you have concerns about proposed logging in your area, please contact my office early in the process so we can facilitate information sharing with the Ministry and assist with your advocacy.

I understand that forest practices in this province have concerned citizens for the past sixteen years. That is why this fall our government introduced the Professional Governance Act to strengthen the government oversight of professionals who work in our natural resource sector including forestry. Our new government is also working to improve regulations and practice that ensure proper care and management of forests and watersheds.

I know that some of you are on the ground at logging sites and have concerns about possible contraventions of the laws governing our forests. Thank you for being a set eyes and ears on the ground. Please contact my office and we can assist you in getting your report heard by the appropriate authority.

 

November 15, 2018

Dear Ymir resident,

I’m writing to you today to update you regarding the proposed forest harvesting activities around Quartz Creek, your water source.

Since learning about BC Timber Sales (BCTS) harvesting plans around Quartz Creek and touring the watershed and Ymir’s water intake and treatment plant in Spring 2017, I’ve been working on this issue as your MLA. Eighteen months later, no harvesting has taken place, BCTS and community representatives regularly communicate, and we’ve been able to secure further studies so that we have the facts to protect Ymir’s water quality and quantity.

At the first community meeting held in May 2017, Ymir’s concern for their water was made clear to me as I heard from all those who spoke. Knowing that forest harvesting has historically resulted in severe tension between industry, government employees and citizens, I committed to doing what I could to avoid such tension. From there, I brought Ymir’s concerns to BCTS and facilitated an initial meeting with community representatives.

Although disagreements have arisen, this dialogue is imperative to resolving those disagreements and ensuring Ymir is informed and able to have their say with BCTS. It has also yielded a hydrological report that can better inform decision-making and planning, particularly since Ymir Watershed Action Team (YWAT) was able to have it peer-reviewed.

Along with my regular updates and advocacy to the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Doug Donaldson, YWAT has now invited me to attend their meetings with BCTS.

Because my responsibilities as your MLA take me to Victoria, I sent two staff from my office to attend the recent October 24 meeting on my behalf. I am pleased to report that at this meeting, Michelle Mungall MLA Nelson-Creston

BCTS stated that should evidence demonstrate that harvesting in the Quartz Creek watershed pose high risk to Ymir’s water security, they would reconsider their harvest plans.

Regarding the flagging that has occurred in the watershed, my office enquired into this issue with BCTS. This flagging marks potential locations of acid rock identified in the hydrological report for further study.

Going forward, my staff and I continue to work so that Ymir’s water quality and quantity are protected. Should you wish further information, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Yours truly,

Michelle Mungall

MLA for Nelson-Creston

Phone: 250-354-5944

Email: michelle.mungall.mla@leg.bc.ca