VICTORIA – An investigation into a complaint from a rancher in the Cariboo-Chilcotin about the effects of mountain pine beetle and salvage logging on water flows has not found any precise answers, but identifies salvage logging as one of a number of contributing factors.
In January 2011, the complainant experienced an unexpected loss of water when a stream his cattle regularly drink from inexplicably froze solid, and then later in the year two floods affected his pastureland. The complainant blamed the salvage logging of beetle-killed timber in the watershed.
“To some extent, forest practices likely influenced the situation,” said board chair Al Gorley. “However, there were numerous other factors including drought and cold weather that also likely played a role, so it’s not possible ato salvage logging.”
“This case underscores the need for greater knowledge about the effect of forest disturbance on watersheds, and for further assessment in the Twinflower Creek watershed before additional logging occurs,” added Gorley.
The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board is required to investigate public complaints about forest planning and practices.