ELF News: Wilson Creek Forest Update
Elphinstone Logging Focus
Dear ELF Supporters,
Its been an interesting week on the Wilson Creek Forest protection campaign front. Please see below for a quick update:
•The front page article in the Coast Reporter this Friday headlined the rally in front of The Sechelt City Hall showing our willingness to present a cheque for $15,000 to Mayor Henderson to cover the dividend loss for not logging The Wilson Creek Forest (EW002). We made a 2nd attempt to present the cheque to the Mayor in an email and phone message, however noreply at this time. This is not a publicity stunt as was suggested by the President of SCCF, Glen Bonderud, as the money is sitting in an account. It seemed that Mr. Bonderrud does not know how the dividend process works, as when he was asked about our proposal to cover the dividend loss, he went off talking about the gross revenues from log sales. Sechelt annually receives between 15-25K as a set dividend from SCCF operations. The paper lead with an angle about vandalism in the forest. What really happended? Someone took down Falling Boundary Tape. Who are the real Vandals when it comes to managing this precious forest?
For pictures of the rally, go to: http://www.coastreporter.net/apps/pbcs.dll/tngallery?Site=GW&Date=20121119&Category=SECHELT&ArtNo=111909999&Ref=PHPlease take a moment and email John Henderson at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask him to meet with ELF to discuss the community’s ability to pay for the dividend loss leading to win-win solution on this contentious land use issue.
•We placed pressure on SCCF to post the Wilson Creek Fisheries report mid-last week and on Thursday they finally posted it on their web site at www.sccf.ca The report commissioned by none other than SCCF. It makes a general conclusion that fish habitat is in ‘good’ condition, however doesn’t speak to how it can be improved. Overall its a business as usual report. Pictures (pgs 27-28) show banks collapsing and sediment wedges building up on the lower reaches. Sediment wedges are indications of higher than normal sediment and gravel transport from upstream zones. Bank failures on properties above are sited as the cause. Reasons for the bank failures have been attributed to the large clearcuts conducted by CNI Logging – the ones you see driving to Dakota Ridge X-cross ski area. Observations by the property owners who recorded the failures, is based on the changing conditions in the watershed. The stream banks at this location along Wilson Creek were lined with 20+ cedars all over a 100 years old, thus showing long-term stable water flow conditions. Intact forests play a part in proper hydrological functioning of a watershed – however in all reports commissioned by SCCF the authors shy away from acknowledging this generally accepted premise. Within a year of the enormous CNI logging, the first of several bank failures occurred with cedars crashing down as a result of stream side bank failures. The common sense approach to improving fish habitat is to limit logging in the upper and mid reaches of important fish bearing streams.Due to Wilson Creek Watershed having up to 84% forest cover loss, its imperative to protect all remaining older forest age classes. Please email SCCF at email@example.com and demand that full WC Forest protection is required to maintain and improve down-stream salmon spawning grounds.
•See attached a Petition to be downloaded, printed and then take around to neighbours, people at work, dropped off at your favorite local business for residents to sign. Please return to our address indicated on the bottom of the Petition. ELF will then present to District of Sechelt. Time is of the essence.
•Community Forest is still showing no signs to engage the community to discuss other management options for the Wilson Creek Forest. When you read their Introduction below off of their web site, there is clear disjoint in who they say are and what they actually do in terms of public consultation. When was the last time SCCF actually managed a forest for other values, other than logging? Now they have a posted Injunction at the WC Forest trailhead against their own community members who see it differently.
What is a Community Forest?
It is an area based tenure issued by the Ministry of Forests under the Forest Act to a community or Society. The SCCF is a 25 year permanent tenure.
A Community Forest is an opportunity to manage a specified forest area, called “area based”, and sustainably harvest the timber in a way that benefits the community.
A Community Forest is managed based on community values. The challenge in managing a community forest is balancing all values and stakeholders needs in the community. This includes recreation, the environment, business, education and providing employment.
•It’s hoped that the Sechelt Indian Band will join several shishalh elders and support the protection of The WC Forest to ensure that traditional use in this forest can continue. We reach out to Chief Gary Feschuck and the Council to come forward with a positive statement in favor protecting this rich forest. Chief Feschuck can be reached at 604-885-2273 , ext 222.
Should you like to support our public outreach efforts (advertisements in the local press, and many other initiatives) we would really appreciate a suggested donation of between $30-$100 which will continue this fight. Thank you for your continued support of having our Wilson Creek Forest protected.