Wells Gray Park should be expanded

Wells Gray Park is a world class park with pristine forests, beautiful natural habitat for animals, and clean, clear rivers and streams

Editor, The Times:

The forests in B.C. are owned by the public, multinational corporations are given farm licences to log the public land. These companies pay “stumpage” fees for the trees logged. These fees are are so low that the American logging industry maintains a tariff on lumber shipped to the U.S.

B.C. governments response was to lower stumpage fees and implement the Forest Practice Code, making it more affordable to log pristine forests and in turn, increasing the impact on salmon spawning, and endangered species habitat.

Corporate welfare is one of the biggest obstacles facing the environment. In Canada and the U.S. flooding, salmon spawning habitat destruction, property damage, and species extinction are a by product of clearcut logging.

The logging industry is not held accountable and the taxpayer is left holding the bill to repair the damage. While politicians cut social programs, education, and healthcare expenditures, excessive corporate welfare is handed out to some of the richest corporations in the world. Washington State is now facing the consequences of clearcut logging; rampant flooding, property destruction, and species destruction.

Wells Gray Park is a world class park with pristine forests, beautiful natural habitat for animals, and clean, clear rivers and streams, attracting over half a million visitors to the area. With tourism increasing and logging interests decreasing, it simply doesn’t make sense to allow one business interest to overturn landscape objectives that impact the important biodiversity of the gateway to Wells Gray Park.

As a tourist to the area, I certainly don’t want to see the ugly scar of clearcut logging nor suffer the environmental destruction these practices bring on, all of which result in increased taxes to rebuild bridges, roads, and declining species. Instead I believe these areas should be protected and included in the designated Wells Gray Park.

Susan South

 

Courtenay, B.C.