The Boundary Forest Watershed Stewardship Society is taking actions to address massive clearcutting in the Kettle Valley and Granby River watersheds.
WE ARE A NON-PROFIT, grassroots, citizens’ society advocating for culturally, economically, and ecologically sustainable forestry practices in the forest and watershed of the Boundary Region. Our members have diverse backgrounds, interests and areas of expertise that include logging, government services, silviculture, fisheries, farming, advocacy, and environmentalism. Many have experienced the ravages of floods, fires, and drought first hand. All are deeply concerned about the looming threats of floods, wildfires and extended droughts with their evident increased intensity and frequency.
We have in common the recognition that our forests are in crisis and as a result there are, already, dire consequences to the humans, eco-systems, biodiversity, and wildlife of our region. In May 2018, as a result of climate change factors and deforestation in our watershed, the Kettle and Granby Rivers flooded suddenly causing extensive and severe damage to rural homes, farms and rangeland. In Grand Forks and surrounding area, the flood damage was catastrophic. Less than 3 months later, the region was in extreme drought, a situation which lasted into late Autumn. Fourteen months later, the devastating impact of the flood continues to be felt economically, culturally, emotionally, and socially.
While abundant evidence in our watershed demonstrates the need for forest and ecosystem restoration we believe there is a moral and fiscal imperative to shift forestry practices to a paradigm that treats forests as ecosystems rather than being driven by a paradigm that emphasizes growing timber – or to use industry speak, fibre – for mills. When getting logs to the mill as cheaply as possible is the name of the game, we, that is individuals, communities and all levels of government, are burdened with the costs that road building and clear-cut logging (and their aftermaths) generate.
Clear-cuts can have an adverse effect on the environment, ecosystems, and biodiversity. Importantly, the rationale for prioritizing respectful management of ecosystems and biodiversity is environmentally, economically and socially prudent.
Therefore, we applaud the government’s decision to provide the public with an opportunity to help re-shape forest policy. Changes to FRPA must reflect the urgent need to manage our water and, as much as possible, our climate.
We know that when left intact our older-aged forests manage our water and help protect us from climate extremes especially because of their carbon storage capacity. Clear-cutting and associated logging practices destroy the composition, structure, and natural function of forests including managing water and climate. New tree plantations struggle to establish themselves; whether or not they attain the status of a forest with all of the complex ecosystems they are comprised of is a question we won’t know the answer to for a long, long time. Certainly, the current practise of 80-year rotations in our interior forest is foolhardy to say the least.
With these issues in mind, surely we are obligated to agree that forestry practices must focus on the resilience, renewal, and complexity of ecosystems rather than Allowable Annual Cut considerations.
The overarching objective must be the fostering of ecological resilience and renewal.
BC forestry legislation must contain a hierarchy of objectives that puts ecosystem restoration, structure, function, and composition as a top priority. Doing so recognizes that healthy ecosystems best ensure other objectives (social, economic, cultural, protection) can be met.
Reworking BC forestry legislation as quickly as possible is of paramount importance. British Columbians, who are entrusted with the care of our forests, will then have some assurance that the hard but necessary work can begin toward improving the ecological state of BC’s forests and, significantly, toward expanding and diversifying the overall BC economy. Ecology and prosperity are of great importance. However, we emphasize that without a healthy ecology there will be neither long-term nor well-distributed economic prosperity. ~ BFWSS
Learn more about BFWSS at our website.
Below, Boundary Forest Watershed Stewardship Society presents its report on what is wrong in the Boundary forests, outlines the costs of the forestry system to ecosystems and people, and proposes a solution to bring about a brighter future for both.
PDF of the written report: Brighter-Future-for-Boundary-Forests-BFWSS-report-March-2021 (r).pdf