Upper Clearwater resident concerned about proposed logging by Canfor

My Dad was a logger and worked for CTP then. He sat at my table and said, “We should not be up there”

Editor, The Times:

The logging blocks proposed for logging by Canfor will be clearly seen from my home.

Many years ago CTP or Clearwater Timber Products (sold to Slocan then to Canfor) logged two blocks on the lower slopes of the Trophy Mountains.

My Dad was a logger and worked for CTP then. He sat at my table and said, “We should not be up there”. You see in those days it was a man, a saw and a tree … perhaps 10 trees per day on snowshoes and in very deep snow. It took a lot of work to bring those trees to the mills. And these mills truly supported the local people and those people who worked there, truly cared about the forests surrounding them they are part of our homes and the forest creatures that lived in them were part of our daily life.

Now forest companies use large feller-buncher machines and they cut 3,000 trees a day … all done from a heated, music filled cab. These people are disconnected from what is being done, as they work like it is like a video game.

My dad did not hold a degree in soils and forest science; his learning came from miles of walking and his keen observation and deep connection to land he worked and lived in and loved.

He knew the ancient soil that holds the forest is thin over rock and cannot be recovered quickly to grow again. He knew that on these steep high altitude slopes the trees are very old (that is why the company wants them, they have dense structure) that they are small and bunch close together to help each other survive. They are families of mutual reciprocity.

These ancient forests are a safe home for what is left of the mountain caribou. These gentle mystical creatures come to eat the lichen that only grows on these old trees and to escape predators.

As these new logging companies have strip-mined the forests up to the Wells Gray Park boundary, the caribou and other species have their homes and survival threatened to the extreme.

Despite their public declarations and without a bigger vision these corporations neither know nor care for our community in any meaningful way … just dropping there taxes off at the little district of Clearwater and employing some in town.

But the writing is on the wall and when they have taken all the trees they too will be gone. Neither they nor their multinational boards know a thing nor care how other species depend on these forests for their lives and homes.

And now, in 35 years after the last time the two small blocks were logged, there is just some green showing in those cut-blocks. Meanwhile, valley residents have had their livelihoods disrupted by the road washouts as water floods creeks, have had their water sources ruined by poor logging practices and their livelihoods disrupted.

We expect more of the same should they get their way to mass-log the entire lower slopes in 10 large logging blocks.

Take the time to read the site and send a letter off, even a quick one saying you support a moratorium on logging in the Wells Gray Park area.

Join us in a call to put the BC Liberals to task to protect the mountain caribou and the other values the forests have to offer for a long term sustainable vision for the future of this special place.

Here is a link to go to: http://1000clearcuts.ca/

And thanks for your time.

Sharon Neufeld

Clearwater, B.C.