Trappers blast clear cutting

Trappers with lines in the Okanagan and Shuswap say clear-cut logging is leading to the decimation of some species and devastation of massive swathes of forest.

While the practice has gone on for years, there is concern that several areas have been overlogged.

“These are large cut blocks with no wildlife corridors and beside areas that were fairly recently logged, probably 15 years ago or so,” said Ron Lancour, who traps in November and December on the backside of Big White and near Graystokes Provincial Park.

Lancour pointed the finger at BC Timber Sales as well as logging companies.

“They don't seem to have a plan. They seem to find a block of mature timber, put a boundary around it and sell it.

“The same thing is happening with Tolko (on the Aberdeen Plateau).”

He said he believes that with B.C.'s beetle problems, companies have been allowed to over-cut.

Meanwhile, trapper Pete Wise was shocked to find a one by 1.5-kilometre clear cut when he went out to his line in hills near Westwold last Sunday. 

“Tolko and BC Small Timber Sales are slaughtering my trapping area and surrounding forests,” Wise posted on Facebook.

“They give out all these contracts and everything is just mowed down,” Wise told Castanet, adding that clear cut logging has left nothing at the top end of Adelphi Creek.

While some animals can survive the clearcutting, Wise said other species have disappeared from the area.

“The marten are gone,” Wise said. “They need mature timber to breed.”

He said the squirrels in the area had disappeared as well.

Wise said trappers respect the land and husband what they catch but the loggers are not leaving anything behind.

He accused them of logging riparian areas that ripped top soil into waterways affecting the salmon.

Both Lancour and Wise are certified instructors with the B.C. Trappers Association.

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