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Reconsider clear cuts

I have to ask B.C.’s premier and all MLAs why we continue to clear cut our proven first line of defence against mudslides, floods and climate change?

Will the already subsidized forestry industry pitch in for the collateral damages? Will the rock bottom stumpage we receive from clear cut salvage logging our crown forests pay for externalities?

All highways to Vancouver are closed (as of writing on Monday, Nov. 15). The Coquihalla Highway, and (Highway 1 through the) Fraser Canyon (are closed) due to slides. Agassiz’s Highway 7 has two slides with cars trapped between the slides. The Hope Princeton highway now has a slide and a river across the road near the Hope Slide and there is a power outage in Hope to Eastgate in Manning Park. Highway 1 west of Hope at Popkum and Bridal Falls has slides. The highway to Revelstoke is closed too.

Merritt's entire water system is going down and residents have been told to avoid using water. (Editor’s note: Merritt residents have been ordered to evacuate.) Many areas of the province are already under evacuation orders and alerts, the saturation and atmospheric river continues.

Flooding in Abbotsford is so bad an emergency centre has been opened for evacuees. The Canada Task Force 1 that is sent to countries to help with earthquakes and such is being sent to the Agassiz slide to help. You know it's bad when they get sent in.

Peachland endured two massive slides near clear cut logging blocks in 2017 (and many minor ones in 2018). One was substantial enough to prompt the mayor declare a state of emergency.

Yet we continue to clear cut and deforest at an alarming rate all our native, built-in, free, proven, and successful front-line methods of flood and mudslide controls—our forests.

We have had the science linking forest cover loss to increased hydrological events for some time now.

Maybe it’s time to be more precautionary. Climate change is here.

Taryn Skalbania, Peachland



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