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Environment

District of Peachland asking province for pause on watershed clearcutting

The District of Peachland has asked the provincial government to temporarily curtail logging in nearby watersheds — a move the Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance is calling extraordinary.

In a letter dated June 26, 2019 to B.C.’s Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Peachland mayor Cindy Fortin said the district is “concerned that the cumulative effects of harvesting, droughts, fires, and climate change are having negative effects on our water quality and quantity of flow in our watersheds.

A photo showing slash piles in the Peachland watershed.
A photo showing slash piles in the Peachland watershed. Submitted

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“Our elected officials and the Healthy Watersheds Committee do not support any additional approvals for cutblocks in the Peachland watersheds until a complete watershed assessment has been conducted, and a stakeholder engagement plan for future logging activities is in place.”

Fortin is also the chair of the Healthy Watersheds Committee.

WATCH BELOW (Aired March 22, 2019): Some First Nations leaders call for logging moratorium above Peachland

Some First Nations leaders call for logging moratorium above Peachland
Some First Nations leaders call for logging moratorium above Peachland

The letter ended asking that the Ministry “support our request for a ‘time out’ on further cutblock permitting, so that the cumulative impacts on water quality, quantity and flow can be thoroughly examined, and we can be provided with a better overall view of the health of our watersheds.”

On Wednesday, the Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance (PWPA) called the letter an “extraordinary move” and one that the alliance “has been working towards for two years.”

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“The Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance wholly supports the district’s call for a pause in logging and a watershed health assessment,” the organization said in a press release.

“Members are concerned, however, that the provincial government’s currently approved logging plans extending through to 2023 will destroy much of what is left of Peachland’s watersheds.”

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WATCH BELOW (Aired April 7, 2019): Plan to allow logging of old growth forests draws criticism

Plan to allow logging of old growth forests draws criticism
Plan to allow logging of old growth forests draws criticism

PWPA added that B.C. has more than 460 designated community watersheds, but only Vancouver and Victoria watersheds are protected from logging and other industrial development.

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