No logging in the Upper Clearwater Valley moratorium called for

No logging until the effects on community values, wildlife, and tourism have been fully addressed by all-stakeholders

To the editor;

I am adding my voice to the call for a moratorium on logging in the Wells Gray Park corridor until social, economic, and environmental values have been addressed in an open, all-stakeholder process.

I have been blessed to call  Clearwater home for  my entire life..my Dad came here in 1959 to work for Frank Capostinsky as a faller and cat skinner so it was logging that supported us growing up and in ways it still supports the four of five sisters that stayed and raised our families here.

Logging plays an important role in our community and will continue to do so.  But times are a changing and as the trees go the way of the cod fish and the timber supply runs out we seek sustainable practices that include other values for economic stability. Or we face own Make and Break harbor as the Stan Roger’s song goes…

Last year tourism – brought Clearwater  close to $20 million dollars.  That would continue for each year in perpetuity especially as we achieve Geo Park Status for Wells Gray. A forest once cut is gone..for our lifetime. Not to ignore the fact an old growth forest stores carbon and helps maintain the climate in which we need for life on earth. I think that is a value worth preserving for our grandchildren.

Logging the entrance to Wells Gray Park will ruin the most stunning road-accessible viewscapes in the area.  It will distance Clearwater from the Wells Gray experience. It will take away opportunities for future generations to make a living here in a diversified economy that values our number one attraction.  WILDERNESS, WILDLIFE, clean water and fresh air.

If Canfor succeeds in severing Clearwater’s wilderness link to Wells Gray Then a direct link will be lost and tourist and other businesses will likely follow the untouched wilderness experience and relocate in Upper Clearwater, effectively transforming IT into the ‘gateway to the park’.  Clearwater will be some gas stations, a grocery store, an info centre and a round-about sign pointing north to the ‘NEW’ gateway to the park: Upper Clearwater.

Clearwater loses its focus and Upper Clearwater loses its life style. Nobody wins.

If logging takes place in the Wells Gray Park entrance corridor in a business-as-usual manner with no genuine public and stakeholder consultations, then they sever their ‘roots in the community’  and with no roots on the steep slopes above the Clearwater Valley road to stabilize the banks it all washes down stream along with more road causing stress and strain and destroying peoples water source. And it maybe even worse considering recent mud slides elsewhere in B.C..

The year we moved to the upper valley to build our home, was the year the high slopes just below the Trophies was logged (big Bertha came later). Dad who was road foreman for CTP and had 30+ years in the logging world,  sat at my table with a  direct view to those north slopes and said..it was wrong…it took hundreds of years to grow and logging it was mining it…and he was right.  Thirty-two years later, that upper block still has no visible regeneration on it and I think of his words every time I look south to that cut on the North side of the Trophies..

Please, no logging in the Upper Clearwater Valley until such a time as the effects on community values, wildlife, and tourism have been fully addressed for the wide range of stakeholders.

Sharon Neufeld

Clearwater, B.C.

Cc: Don Kayne, President and CEO Canfor

 

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