Logging moratorium needed for Upper Clearwater

I am concerned about the impact that logging and road building by Canfor could have on the west slope of Trophy Mountain

Editor, The Times:

Regarding Trevor Goward’s open letter to the CEO of Canfor (“Heritage committee asks Canfor to rethink planning,” Aug. 27 issue), another vital issue for many Clearwater Valley residents is water quality and quantity.

I am concerned about the impact that logging and road building by Canfor could have on the west slope of Trophy Mountain. I own nearly 500 acres in the Clearwater Valley, half of it directly below the area of proposed logging. I operate two guest cabins, which attract an international clientele. The water supply comes from Shook Brook, which flows off Trophy Mountain onto the property. The irrigation and fire protection systems depend on this creek. Since 2002, I have been a licensed independent power producer for B.C. Hydro with a dam, penstock and turbine on this creek.

Shook Brook is currently a very stable stream with minor seasonal fluctuations. It has never flooded and never gone dry in the 17 years that I have owned the property, and the previous owner since 1944 never experienced that either. If the drainage basin above the intake is logged, I am sure the fluctuations will become significant and the creek could even go dry, as nearby streams such as Fage and Ordschig do in late summer.

Everybody who lives or does business along the Wells Gray Park road below Trophy Mountain depends on its flowing streams for their water supplies, either by gravity or wells. I have invested a lot of money in my water and hydro system, but I doubt if Canfor will voluntarily compensate me if the creek no longer has a reliable year-round flow due to upstream logging.

Logging took place on Trophy Mountain during the 1980s and early 1990s. The downstream effects of these clearcuts have been devastating and included the loss of three highway bridges: First Canyon Creek in 1997, Spahats Creek in 1999, and Grouse Creek in 2001. Second Canyon Creek and Fage Creek nearly washed out the highway. Hundreds of residents and tourists were trapped beyond these washouts for periods of up to a week. The cost to taxpayers for new bridges, road repairs, rescue helicopters and emergency personnel was over $5 million. However, the stumpage fees earned by the government from this unwise logging on Trophy Mountain amounted to just a fraction of the eventual costs.

After a three-year consultation in the late 1990s, Clearwater Valley residents and the Ministry of Forests signed an agreement in 2000 that gave residents every right to expect that no major logging would ever occur again on Trophy Mountain. This agreement is being ignored by Canfor’s planners.

The recent tragic landslide at Johnsons Landing, blamed on upslope logging, clearly shows that future logging must be planned carefully where the affected mountainside has numerous homes, lodges, campgrounds and Thompson Rivers University’s busy Wilderness Research Centre directly below.

I have written to Hon. Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, and Hon. Terry Lake, Minister of Environment, asking them to consider a moratorium on further industrial logging in the Clearwater Valley until a formal discussion can occur about the area’s economic values and water supplies. Neither directly addressed this question in their replies. This action would potentially save taxpayers and the government millions of dollars in infrastructure repairs and legal liability in the event of landslides or washouts due to Trophy Mountain logging.

Roland Neave


Kamloops, B.C.



Just Posted

Vavenby kids have fun sledding

“It was really fun. We just zoomed down the hill!”

TNRD seeks to ban sale of recreational pot ahead of legalization

The ban aims to prevent shops from opening before rules have been set out by the province

It’s time for a rotating gas boycott

Rambling Man says things will only change if the people of B.C. stand up and say enough is enough!

Couple grateful in aftermath of fire

Workshop fire destroyed tools and equipment but nobody was injured in blaze

Cycle relay seeks to raise pipeline awareness

The relay began in Valemount on Saturday, March 17 and will end in the Kamloops on Tuesday

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Golden Knights win 4-1, remain undefeated against Canucks

Vegas gets points from 12 players in dominating effort versus Vancouver

Alberta budget plans for Trans Mountain expansion

Finance Minister Joe Ceci says expected revenues will be factored into budget forecasts

Proposed gun bill attacked by gun owners and shooting victims

The federal government tabled the bill today in order to tighten the sale and tracking of firearms

New anti-radicalization centre in the works for B.C.

Centre aims to help ‘vulnerable individuals on the path to radicalization’ before they turn to crime

B.C. bravery, public service honoured by Governor General Julie Payette

UVic basketball coach Kathryn Shields inducted into Order of Canada

Sea lion with rope wrapped around neck saved by Vancouver Aquarium

Steller sea lions are a species of special concern and some populations are endangered in parts of Alaska

Most Read