An emotionally charged meeting was held Feb. 17 in Glade regarding plans for Kalesnikoff Lumber and Atco Wood Products to log in the Glade watershed. About 60 people turned up for the meeting, the primary purpose of which was to hear a report on the hydrogeomorphic assessment of the watershed. https://www.castlegarnews.com/news/glade-residents-outraged-by-plans-to-log-in-watershed/
Our watershed is the only source of water for 98% of the community: it is the water that comes out of our taps. We have no other source. Some people get their water from small creeks, but these too, would likely be affected by logging and road building. https://www.bclocalnews.com/opinion/letter-skepticism-about-logging-warranted/
... credentials were not questioned. The question was whether or not her report could be unbiased when both she and her husband rely on Atco and Kalesnikoff as a source of income.
...Glade residents understand that logging is a part of the prosperity that maintains us but at this time of year when the bottom-line is considered, it's also true that our prosperity is measured by such things as pure water, a safe and vibrant environment in which to live.
We keep trying to be heard:
CBC reporter Bob Keating met with us .... our situation with Glade Watershed facing imminent logging, with no government processes for concerned citizens to have an empowered voice, is not unique.
Yet we will persist with asking questions, to have our concerns heard, for a chance at having a Community Forest.
We have joined the Kootenay Watershed Alliance, & we are members of the BC Coalition for Forestry Reform. Apathy is not an option for us.
We love our water, our neighbours, our forests; change must be initiated or be brought to all industries that are not balancing profit with impact.
... mentions the ‘competitive market’ that these ‘medium sized family-owned sawmills’ face: it appears this competitive market is paying off! Kootenaybiz.com lists the Top 50 businesses (2015): Out of nine ILMA members (Interior Lumber Manufacturer’s Association), five are on the list! In millions of dollars in sales, Kalesnikoff made $57 million, ATCO $37 million, Porcupine Wood $30 million, Brisco Wood $26.2 million, and JH Huscroft $16 million.
... says more letters of protest will be coming to the company soon. Legislation and bureaucracy may be against them, and residents are anxious and feeling under the gun, but she says they are not giving up.
“I guess one of the levers we have is we are passionate, we are stubborn and I think as well we have science on our side,” she says. “They have the legal stuff on their side. But 80 per cent of BC residents get their water from surface sources.
“If that’s not as important as resource extraction I don’t know what is.”
After investigation, the Glade community became concerned for our water quality. Could anyone help us to protect our water? We began asking…
We asked the Minister of the Environment, Interior Health Authority, the government’s ‘Living Water Smart’, and of course, we asked FLNRO. They all said they were already protecting our water sources. Maybe we hadn’t noticed.
The lack of public confidence in water protection in BC is well earned. Ask the folks in Ymir, where their tiny watershed is slated to be logged, or the folks in Shawinigan Lake, where they had to fight to get contaminated soil dumping out of their water source. Ask the folks in Slocan Valley, who have been fighting for decades to protect their water sources. Ask us.
So, as many citizens and communities across BC have done over the years, we will, out of necessity, protect our water. Water is life and without clean water, nothing can live. Where our elected leaders and decision makers aren't stepping up, we need the media and the public to take action - before it's too late for yet another small community.
from "People Power the Only Way to Save Watersheds" in The Nelson Daily and the Slocan Valley Voice by Tom Prior
For example: Mark Jaccard, SFU Energy and Materials Research Group, says planting trees “doesn’t cut it… reforesting land that will eventually be harvested doesn’t yield any significant results. Carbon sequestered by trees would eventually go back into the atmosphere once the trees are logged, especially when a lot of the excess fibres are burned…”
"Because you don't have a hope in hell of doing anything about this...
We've had Mt.Sentinel logged and it has destroyed our water."
"Sadly, we are aware that industry considers profits before clean water and that our governing bodies ride in the hip pocket of industry."
Thursday, January 19, 2017
"Residents should not have to choose between their water being 'destroyed' and putting in a well."
Residents of the area are well aware of the sandy soil and fragile slopes in and around Glade and as this road is the only access to the Community of Glade, it is extremely important that it’s integrity is maintained and it furthers our resolve that Glade Ferry Road should not be subjected to the stress that would accompany the constant logging truck traffic of the proposed logging.
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The logging rep added that he has never seen a water supply permanently damaged over the course of his career, but there can be a temporary period when streams “flush themselves clean.”
My greatest sympathy to the community of Glade for their deep concern over the logging of their watershed. It’s about all our watersheds that have been eroding over the years and finally it’s in our backyard and affecting us personally. It’s absolutely devastating, just as devastating as appealing to the laws of our noble corporate governments, whether federal, provincial, or municipal. Most of the laws are founded on commerce and serve the corporations, as they have money to pay the legal fees and we, the masses, are reduced to bake sales trying to raise funds to stand up and be counted in the decision process.
In Silverton, my daughter arrived home to discover a deep hole cut right through the steep bank holding up her property and her house. Trees were removed; roots were cut, compromising big trees that could endanger people’s lives. When we looked for property pins, we found them thrown in the bush. The local CAO took full responsibility and explained that this was the easiest, shortest, cheapest way to get the water pipe up the hill. Now they promise to resurvey the property, hire someone to check the stability of the slope, maybe build a retaining wall, and on and on...
My question is the same as with the logging in Glade: Why were they not a part of the decision process? These are our ‘smart’ people who sit in meetings, drawing lines through our forest and our lives without due respect for all those affected as they make plans for a healthier future. We are paying for these ‘smart’ people to go to conferences that are going to lead our country into the next century and somewhere between their paid martini and dinner, you just lost the land beneath your feet or your source of water.
Since they’ve introduced the word ‘smart’ into their political agenda, from ‘water smart’ to ‘smart meters’ and so on, we have been treated as dumber and dumber.
Most of our traditions teach us that we are part of the web of life, just as important as a honeybee, but unfortunately in this society some people are smarter than others and empathy, cooperation or plain old common sense are not on the agenda. Its resource exploitation, not conservation, and business over life. Its profit at all cost and most of the profit will go to upkeep the cult of modern machinery, just like most of the housing on earth is for accounting and not living.
No matter how many times we’ve demonstrated a gentler way of working with nature, we’ve failed royally. In the end, our last recourse is to face tons of huge grinding machinery on logging roads and disobey her Majesty the Queen on her ‘Crown land.’ The police and the labyrinth of ministries will not stand by the people who live there; they will politely listen and record your words in case you swear at them, but in the end your tax dollars will pay to arrest you for your audacity to stand for the last of life on earth – your reward for participating in our democracy.
At the end of the day, we will all be losers but the greatest losers of all will be the next generation. My grandmother once said: “Good government is equal to the quality of water given to the children,” and we hand them a glass of water tainted with chemicals from industrial pollution and chlorine to disinfect the shit in it.
Twenty-five million dollars have been allocated to save the caribou after we’ve destroyed their habitat and we have government meetings over problem bears in town after we’ve destroyed their habitat. And yet, we can’t stop the machinery and we need more oil to serve it at the costs of losing our drinking water.
And now Coca-Cola is selling you stale water in plastic bottles, creating islands of garbage in our oceans. Are we all that stupid? Yes! And off we go to another corporate-sponsored meeting to educate us on climate change and how to re-arrange our putrid life around it while we still keep destroying ecosystems that are the life blood of the planet. Forty thousand truckloads of old growth wood will be coming out of the Duncan over the next so many years – after all, we need money to do research on Artificial Intelligence – no wonder. This is our government at work for you.
Our Aboriginal people’s prophecies remind us that when the last fish is caught, the last tree is cut down and the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that we cannot eat money. The only thing we have left is our soul, our moral conviction that something is deadly wrong. The only recourse is to stand strong with peace in our hearts, not live in fear, have the courage to face the challenge, and pray like hell.
Gandhi called it ‘Satyagraha.’ If we, the people can all hold hands together and be there for one another… if thousands of people stood strong… what could we achieve?
Suzy Hamilton Legacy Award
March 30, 2018 Nelson Star www.nelsonstar.com/community/heather-mcswan-wins-first-suzy-hamilton-legacy-award/
Heather McSwan of the Glade Watershed Protection Society is the first recipient of the newly established Suzy Hamilton Legacy Fund Award. The fund was established in 2016 after well-loved and dedicated West Kootenay environmental activist and mentor, Suzy Hamilton, died.
Suzy Hamilton’s legacy lives on in the Kootenays, through more than just the Osprey Legacy Fund set up in her name. In her tireless and selfless ways, Suzy made our community better. Her work was broad and established her both as a social activist and environmentalist. She founded Kootenay Barter, a local currency system and was also a founding member of the West Kootenay EcoSociety. She brought attention to forestry issues and won legal fights to protect local wildlife habitat.
As a journalist, Suzy wrote for numerous publications and was a longtime host of the EcoCentric radio show on Kootenay Coop Radio. She was a founding member of the Nelson Garden Festival, an important community event in Nelson.
Her most recent project was the revitalization of the Kokanee Park Visitor Centre to educate visitors and locals about our valuable ecosystem. Despite Suzy’s involvement and leadership in so many causes and foundations, she never had a need for recognition of her work.
Instead, she drew people to her passions and happily involved everyone around her.
Related: COLUMN: Remembering Suzy Hamilton (Sept 2016)
The Legacy Fund jury noted that Heather McSwan embodies so many of the values that Suzy Hamilton practiced in her life: caring about water sustainability, working to protect ecoystems, organic gardening, building community and using creative solutions for challenging environmental situations. Since Kalesnikoff Lumber Company announced they were going to log in the Glade Watershed, Heather McSwan has spearheaded the Glade community’s work on protecting the ecological values of the watershed. Glade Creek provides domestic and agricultural water for about 80 households. The Watershed Protection Committee has explored legal avenues through BC’s new drinking water legislation and is currently putting together a proposal for a Community Forest Venture in Glade.
From The Nelson Daily April 5, 2018 thenelsondaily.com/news/mcswan-presented-suzy-hamilton-legacy-fund-award#.WsumSpch02w
The other nominees for the award are:
“It was so challenging to pick just one woman to receive the award,” said committee member K.Linda Kivi.
“Each nominee has done and is doing phenomenal work in our communities for conservation and sustainability. So many people have been inspired by their dedication and persistence and, in Suzy’s name, we honour and appreciate each one of them.”
The Suzy Hamilton Legacy Fund has continued to grow since it’s inception in 2016. An additional $2000 was raised in 2017 and we invite more donations so that it can continue to grow. Suzy Hamilton was a well-read reporter at The Nelson Daily and other local media outlets and her legacy honours women environmental activists so that we can support their work in a financially meaningful way by donating to the Fund through the Osprey Foundation.
McCrory says that it is over cutting and mechanization that destroy communities and cost factory jobs, not the environmental movement. Colleen McCrory has used her international podium to describe British Columbia as The Brazil of the North because of it's rapid destruction of temperate rain forests.
Ymir Watershed Logging
No homemaker in his right mind would employ a contractor to do any work on his property when he knows that the contractor assumes no liability if he screws up on the job. The residents of Ymir are not gullible. They know that if logging in their watershed – approved and promoted by BC Timber Sales – degrades the quality or quantity of their drinking water, then BCTS cannot assume any responsibility...
No one in his right mind would allow some profit-driven corporation to jeopardize a benefit he enjoys without payment or compensation. Yet this is what the employees of the Arrow Lakes Forest District of BC expect the residents of Ymir to do.
Forest ecologist Herb Hammond has been entangled in the issue of watershed logging for decades now, and he’s most recently signed on to work for the Glade Watershed Protection Society.
According to him, there’s an underlying assumption made by logging companies and politicians that citizens’ fears of having their water source disrupted are unfounded, and if only the companies would communicate better then the societies protesting watershed harvesting would be satisfied.
That’s not true, according to Hammond.
“They’re assuming they can perpetrate an unnatural disturbance over and over again on a natural habitat and it won’t have an impact. That flies in the face of science and common sense.”
Companies stand to profit, while water users bear all the risk — risk which exists regardless of how local and well-meaning forest professionals are. If you can’t acknowledge the basis for conflicts, meaningful discussion won’t happen.