Three separate debris flows closed the Coquihalla between Hope and Merritt on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2021. (Contributed)

Three separate debris flows closed the Coquihalla between Hope and Merritt on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2021. (Contributed)

LETTER: Why do we continue to clear cut our first line of defense?

Letter to the editor

To the editor,

I have to ask B.C.’s Premier and all MLAs why we continue to clearcut our proven first line of defense against mudslides, floods and climate change? Will the already subsidized forestry industry pitch in for the collateral damages? Will the rock bottom stumpage we receive from clearcut salvage logging our Crown forests pay for externalities?

All highways to Vancouver are closed, as well as the Coquihalla and Fraser Canyon, due to slides. Agassiz Highway 7 has two slides with cars trapped between them. The Hope Princeton Highway now has a slide and a river across the road near the Hope Slide and there is a power outage in Hope to Eastgate in Manning Park.

Highway 1 west of Hope at Popkum and Bridal Falls has slides. Highway to Revelstoke is closed too!

Merritt’s entire water system is going down and residents have been told to avoid using water. Many areas of the province are already under evacuation orders and alerts, the saturation and atmospheric river continues.

Flooding in Abbotsford is so bad that an emergency centre has been opened for evacuees.

The Canada Task Force 1 that is sent to countries to help with earthquakes and such is being sent to the Agassiz slide to help. You know it’s bad when they get sent in.

Peachland endured two massive slides near clearcut logging blocks in 2017 (and many minor ones in 2018), one was substantial enough to prompt the mayor call a state of emergency. Yet we continue to clearcut and deforest at an alarming rate all our native, built-in, free, proven, successful front-line methods of flood and mudslide controls: our forests.

We have the science linking forest cover loss to increased hydrological events for some time now. Maybe time to be more precautionary. Climate change is here.

Taryn Skalbania,

Peachland, B.C.