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Letters  

More logging, more floods

Central Okanagan Emergency Operations has been calling on residents to stay clear of shoreline protections and thanked Tolko for supplying the logs needed to build o to 1.7 kilometres of booms.

This is a quick fix for a deeper problem. Floods are accelerated when extreme weather and deforestation meet.

The governments know it. Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo, who lost a constituent, Roy Sharp of Tappen, last year due to a mudslide, advised Forest Minister Doug Donaldson that “increased logging activity does increase water flows through different watersheds.“

The people know it. Longtime Okanagan resident Harry Rasmussen in a Castanet story said he has never experienced flooding until this year and believes it was because of land clearing for a new development.

In 1988, local hydrologist Don Dobson of the Water Management Branch warned a resources management forum that extensive logging in the Mission Creek area may be affecting water quality and quantity. Logging in the Belgo Creek area was opening up too much land and could be contributing to a decline in water quality.  Yet the logging continues in the valley, and the reforestation cannot keep up.

We need the government to act on it and change legislation that is allowing overcutting in watersheds. With the evidence at hand, to do nothing is negligence.  

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources says clearcutting in the Okanagan is sustainable – for whom, for what and for how long?  

Science disagrees. Deforestation increases flooding by two to four times, according to recent UBC studies.

A longtime resident of Grand Forks recently observed: “I am hearing many people, including old time loggers, say that the devastating flooding in Grand Forks was partly due to deforestation of the Granby and Kettle Valleys through clearcutting.”

The people are talking – now it is time for action.

R.M. Taylor, Peachland



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