Protect the forests

The environment is in the news. The B.C. government’s intentions paper, From Flood Risk to Resilience in B.C. asks for public input.

Premier David Eby has declared our forests “exhausted.” Measures have started to protect old-growth forests. Incomappleux Conservancy was created in January, protecting 58,000 hectares of inland temperate rainforest.

There are deferrals on 1.7M hectares of old-growth B.C. forest. Meanwhile those rumbling logging trucks carry our forest down (Peachland’s) Princeton Avenue and away.

So, what about us? Our (Peachland) watershed has been “over-logged.” I say that the forest above Peachland urgently needs protection.

Forests are climate regulators and carbon sinks. They enable biodiversity, help prevent landslides and flooding. They hold moisture longer in the environment, control downhill water flow, purify and cool the water in our streams.

Clearcuts increase the downhill movement of water, cause a quicker and faster snow melt. Little rivulets turn into small streams, converge with others to create messy runoff. Muddy water flows into Bolingbrooke, Bolivar and Greata Creeks and makes its way into Hardy Creek and our water treatment plant.

Forests are natural infrastructures and can be commodified. Cleaner water entering our treatment plant lessens the workload, saves operating costs and could help reduce water rates.

Peachland needs to have a say in what happens in its watershed. It is time for our council to take measures to gain veto rights and jurisdiction in our watershed. We need an end to clearcuts and a move to forest-friendly forestry work. We need to protect what is left and work to restore the land. Intact forest ecosystems provide clean water for free.

We have old-growth trees too.

There will be a book launch at our library on Jan. 11 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to celebrate The Big Tree Book by Terry Nelson. Three of our (trees) are featured in the book.

Judy Wyper, Peachland

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