In a presentation from professional foresters, Herb Hammond and Fred Marshall, residents of Grand Forks heard about the desperately unhealthy state of the forest in the Kettle River Watershed and Boundary region. SEE BELOW TO VIEW THE PRESENTATION AND LINKS TO FRED’S WRITTEN PRESENTATION AND NOTES.
Because Grand Forks is the test case and the canary in the coal mine for the devastating effects of forestry practices in BC, my goal as the organizer of this presentation was to become informed about the state of our local forests and the relationship between forestry and the flooding in Grand Forks. The presentation achieved this goal and is the first step towards citizens coming together to work for healthier forests here.
The main takeaways of the talks:
- it is possible to create more local jobs at the same time as protecting our forests
- urgent changes are needed in regards to what timber companies are allowed to do in our forests
- changes are required to forestry legislation and policies at a Provincial level
- the amount of clearcutting being done and roads being built are not only contributing to increased flooding but they are devastating our forests and wildlife
- an ecosystem based plan (rather than a profit-based-plan) is what is urgently required here
- local citizens must form a group to speak up for and protect the forest
- all players, including industry, government, and citizens must work together now to create thriving forests and a prosperous future – we are past the tipping point
After the presentation, Herb Hammond said, “Throughout the presentations, questions, and discussion, I felt community empowerment occurring. The next step will be to harness that empowerment to lead future analyses and catalyze real change in the conservation, restoration, and management of the Kettle River watershed. Community leadership will be necessary if focused, thoughtful change is to occur in the way that the Kettle River is managed.”He added, “We need to talk in more detail about a specific process to plan and apply principled ecosystem-based conservation, restoration, and management for climate change resilience to the Kettle River watershed. This needs to be the next step before any further logging or road construction is undertaken. Under the current management approaches, the watershed has become dis-functional for a spectrum of ecological processes, chief among them water conservation and climate moderation; and dis-functional for the persistence of a wide array of species. The time for debating the need for change has past. Now is the time to plan and implement an ecosystem-based restoration and conservation plan for the Kettle.”