Blowdown helps retain water in forests

I have concern about the extent of the proposed harvesting of the windstorm's blowdown.

Blowdown helps retain water in forests

“Cowichan Lake already at August lows”, (Citizen, March 8)

Open letter to North Cowichan mayor and council members and Forest Advisory Committee members:

I have concern about the extent of the proposed harvesting of the windstorm’s blowdown.

At the very least, leaving more blowdown than less will build up woody debris, help retain moisture and increase water storage — one of the natural functions of a healthy forest. The downed wood decays and acts as a sponge. This allows water to slowly enter our streams, rivers and lakes, avoiding floods and droughts. With cut blocks and lack of woody debris in our forests, rainwater rushes out to the sea.

The question must be, “How much blowdown left down would be best for the future of the forest and our river?”, not “How much harvest would be economically best for us?”

Economics is not our only worry. Our children feel anxiety when they think of our climate future, and how it will play out in their lives.

Cowichan Lake is already at August lows. The health of our forest, river and Valley are the prime responsibility of us adults. The consequences of our actions or inactions could be detrimental to the future of our children’s lives. We must begin NOW; not next year or over the next five or 10 or 12 years. Leaving more blowdown is one thing we can do now to help make a vibrant forest that will benefit us long-term.

Miyo Stevens

Cowichan Valley

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