Nahmint Watershed under attack

Find attached a letter I wrote to BC Timber Sales and wonder if you will publish it, along with this introduction.
Two hours southwest of here lies the beautiful Nahmint Valley full of mountains, lakes, rivers, and many red and blue-listed at-risk plant and bird species amidst the few remaining patches of Old-Growth forests. BCTS thinks it has the right to auction off 4 cutblocks of the forest, to the highest bidder, with almost no oversight into what the logging companies are actually doing on the ground. One cutblock was auctioned off this February and according to the Ministry of Forests and BCTS personnel, who I have been hounding since February, there is nothing that can stop their ecocidal business plans. This cutblock was designated by the government, in the Vancouver Island Land Use Plan, as containing 82% Big Tree Old-Growth, 88% Marbled Murrelet habitat and is on an excessively steeply sloped mountainside. I keep asking them why it was not deferred and they continue to ignore me.
I have registered a formal complaint to the Forest Professionals of BC against Norm Kempe, the District Manager who allowed this cutblock to be auctioned off.
If you want to know more, please attend the DI Climate Action Network’s letter-writing cafe this Saturday, June 20th, from 10 til 1, outside at The Guesthouse.

Dear Professional Foresters, BCTS

It has come to the attention of Vancouver Island Forest Focus (VIFF) that a Public Engagement Plan was prepared by BCTS for the S. Elphinstone Watershed on the Sunshine Coast.  This Plan included a Watershed Assessment, a Terrain Stability Assessment and a period for public input.  Given the high level of public interest in the protection and management of the fisheries in the Nahmint Watershed on Vancouver Island, VIFF would like to know what Public Engagement has been undertaken or will be undertaken in the Nahmint Watershed..

Watershed Assessment for the S. Elphinstone Watershed carried out by Polar GeoScience under contract with BCTS resulted in the reduction in the size of cut blocks based on the equivalent clearcut area (ECA). However we do not think that ECA alone is a sufficient indicator of watershed recovery.  Therefore we ask that BCTS conduct a full watershed assessment using the probabilistic watershed model, as set out by Dr. Younes Alila (Department of Forestry, UBC).  

Since the Nahmint is a sensitive fisheries watershed it must also  be managed with the health and integrity of the salmon habitat as the highest value. Therefore BCTS must demonstrate that any planned logging and road building will not result in any further negative cumulative effect to fisheries values. To that end, we ask that all assessments dealing with the possible impacts on the fishery in the Nahmint Watershed be made available to local First Nations, DFO, local StreamKeepers, regional government and the public. 

Until this assessment is done, including peer review and revisions necessary to address issues raised during  the public comment period, no blocks should go forward to auction. 

Anything less, can be seen as wilful disregard of standard professional planning processes. 

We are poised to make a formal complaint to the Forest Professionals BC body that abides by the FPBC’s Code of Ethical and Professional Conduct: Sections 22 and 57, which states “all registrants are responsible to hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public and the protection of the environment.” 

We anticipate a timely response to this critical issue. 

Best Regards, – /ftp/TCH/external/!publish/InformationSharing/Mt_Elphinstone_South_Watershed_Assessment/!publish/InformationSharing/Mt_Elphinstone_South_Watershed_Assessment/