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LETTER: Forestry practices will affect property values

Logging these water purifying ecosystems affects B.C. communities

Dear Editor:

Poor forest management will see B.C. property values fall and insurance costs rise. Why?

Flooding from clearcuts — Anthony Britneff, retired senior official at BC Forest Service, predicts more Grand Forks style flooding.

Citizens who lost their retirement, livelihood and community infrastructure must wonder how the Premier considers this sustainable. Heavy snow packs, direct sunlight on clear cuts speeds melting, rushing runoff into town. It may be your town next.

Watersheds only account for 1.5 per cent of B.C. landmass but are logged at a frenzied pace. Vancouver, Victoria, New York City, Seattle and Portland forbid logging in watersheds.

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Currently more than 26 B.C. communities are fighting to protect theirs.

Logging these water purifying ecosystems results in dirty water flowing to your community water system, wildlife driven into town to eat your plants and pets and costly system maintenance expenses.

When forestry logs the watershed, water of poor and inconsistent quality flows to the water treatment plant, the plant cannot adequately treat water so boil water advisories result. Dirty water causes higher deterioration on water infrastructure. Soon new treatment plants and infrastructure are required.

Forestry doesn’t pay for this, taxpayers do. Example: $24 million for a new water treatment plant equals $4,500 per Peachland citizen.

Government subsidized spraying to kill deciduous trees. Done to improve coniferous tree harvests while negatively affecting habitats, biodiversity and community fire-resistance. Deciduous trees slow and stop wildfires. Deciduous spraying is a government handout costing taxpayers’ money…and perhaps lives.

“Beauty strips” support the Beautiful B.C. illusion. Beauty strips are unlogged forest left around communities and roadways to make the public and tourists think that they are living in an intact, well managed forest. Climb up your local ridge or go to Big White to observe vistas of clear cut. Tourists are starting to catch wind complaining that the country side looks like a patchwork quilt.

Why does all this continue?

Government is captured by industry and politicians are too soft to mount a fight. This has been going on for a long time. Forestry is governed by professional reliance. In other words, the companies govern themselves.

Peachland town council has requested a logging moratorium from the provincial government. Minister of Forests Donaldson had a political lackey respond that logging would continue despite the moratorium request.

Donaldson’s kneeling to industry will drive B.C. property values down while insurance costs rise. Get your wallet ready.

Michael Huber

Peachland

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