Letter: Concerned about the rate of timber harvesting

The way logging is being practiced, at least in our area, is not sustainable

I applaud the efforts of those working to find an alternative to the proposed logging in the Carmi area.

I have been similarly concerned about the rate of timber harvesting on the Apex Plateau for some years as well.

So far, my protestations about the impacts on other users have fallen on deaf ears.

The previous Liberal government seems to have turned forest management regulation over to the forest companies.

The result has been massive clear-cuts (I measured one at over 350 hectares), logging in riparian areas, destruction of long-used hiking/biking/snowshoe routes, little or no apparent regard for ungulate winter range, impact to view scapes and important natural areas, and the list goes on.

Apex was designated an Intensive Recreation Area under the Okanagan Shuswap Land and Resource Management Plan, but so far the only thing intensive is logging.

Foresters seem to think large open areas are just what backcountry users want.

In fact, trying to cross them in winter with windy conditions and snow is unpleasant and can be dangerous.

High harvest rates can no longer be justified on the basis of beetle management either.

There are few beetle-attacked trees to be found any more, yet beetle management carries on, not on the local scale, but over massive areas of the interior forests with no regard to local conditions.

Logging has long been the mainstay of our provincial economy, but the way it is being practiced, at least in our area, is not sustainable.

In the long run, there is as much to be gained economically from managing for at least some recreational use of the forests as there is from forest harvesting, the latter of which mostly benefits foreign owned companies in any event.

Nobody is against logging, rather we are in favour of sustainable and equitable land-use as envisioned in the LRMP.

Rick McKelvey

Penticton

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