Save Lynch Creek North -- a public plea
Friends and Residents of the North Fork are appealing to the public to help prevent industrial clear-cut logging at Lynch Creek North.
A group of interested people met at the Boundary Women’s Centre in Grand Forks on May 2 to garner interest in the cause.
Lynch Creek North is located west of Gladstone Park and plans for logging are already visible with flags in place to mark the proposed cut blocks.
“There was no public meeting,” said Margaret Steele who represented Friends and Residents of the North Fork. She added the Ministry of Forests is not required to hold a public meeting or advertise in local papers when they start industrial logging. Locals only learned about the logging when the flags were discovered by hikers.
“A few of us raised a ruckus,” said Steele, told the room of about 50 participants, Thursday.
The group started a conversation with BC Timber Sales (BCTS) but without much success.
“We asked BCTS to hold a public meeting,” said Steele. Instead, they requested a private meeting with less than 10 interested individuals at the end of February.
The group pressed their concerns regarding efffects of industrial-scale clearcutting, which include supporting all the values that a healthy forest offers.
We have an opportunity to support biodiversity, wildlife habitat, clean water, clean air and recreation, said Steele during the Thursday presentation.
She recognizes that logging will continue but would like to see sustainable, selective timber harvesting. So far, she hasn’t received much positive feedback from BCTS.
“They are continuing business as usual – clearcutting,” she said.
One concern is that Gladstone Provincial Park will end up just like Granby Provincial Park — completely surrounded by clear cuts on all sides. It is already breaking up the land.
Clearcutting has caused fragmentation in the forests due to the logging and roads being built. It also endangers the wildlife populations, particularly grizzly bears, which are already threatened, according to Steele.
The clearcutting is also happening near many old growth forests and Steele is concerned they are next on the list for clearcutting.
Some supports of clearcutting may be concerned about a job loss if there is a moratorium on the work, but Steele wanted to stress that this isn’t an issue of choosing the forests over jobs.
“We are just saying this isn’t the way to go. Hopefully there is still an opportunity to do it differently,” she said, adding that the clearcutting style of timber harvesting doesn’t provide long-term jobs in the area.
“We are appealing to the public – is this what you want?” asked Steele. She encourages everyone to think about the current foresting practices and BC and understand that they aren’t taking into account all forest values. She’d also like to stress there is still an opportunity to do things differently.
“We need your help. I hope we can inspire you to support our cause,” she said.