Clearcut logging in the Peachland Creek Watershed near Peachland
May 28, 2023 Kelowna, BC - THE NEWLY FORMED Interior Watershed Task Force (IWTF) brings together several grassroots organizations to deal with growing concerns over clearcut logging in BC watersheds. BC communities are at a crisis point from the impacts of industrial logging and this MUST change.
Industrial logging in BC is resulting in excessive road building, unreasonably large clearcuts, and loss of high-elevation old-growth forests. The cumulative risks from these practices are well known. They are linked to poor water quality and supply, extreme flooding events, destructive landslides, wildfires, and degraded wildlife and plant life diversity. Climate change is making it worse. Government and logging company professionals should know this but appear to be ignoring the scientific evidence.
It is time to stop clearcut logging in watersheds used for human consumption. Only two watersheds in BC (Vancouver and Victoria) have legislated authority over their watersheds. It is time for all BC communities to have the same control.
IWTF is proposing a paradigm shift in forest and watershed management, including:
An immediate plan to stop clearcut logging, including building excessive logging roads, in BC watersheds, particularly those used for water supply or those close to human habitation;
A change in forest governance that cancels industrial forest tenures and replaces them with community forest boards. These boards would be administered by provincial, indigenous, and local governments, advised by a non-partisan panel of experts and community stakeholders;
A change to existing forest-management legislation that places protection of water supply, public safety, ecological integrity and biodiversity before resource extraction. All other land and resource uses must be subordinate to this legislation.
As a first initiative, the Interior Watershed Task Force is circulating a petition to gather evidence of the level of public concern in current forest management. The petition and a backgrounder are attached. For more information, please contact:
Clarice Bower, Central Okanagan, Joe Rich Forestry, Trails and Watershed Committee,
Roy Schiesser, Kootenay Boundary, Boundary Forest Watershed Stewardship Society,
Eveline Wolterson, North Okanagan, Silver Hills Watershed Watch, 604 351-7508
Backgrounder: IWTF Backgrounder May 27 2023.docx
Interior Watershed Task Force is a coalition that launched in 2023. We are based in the Okanagan, the traditional and unceded territory of the Syilx people. We support and advocate for the protection of water, forests, wildlife and their habitats all across BC.