Along the meandering upper St Mary’s River, huge old growth cedar stumps tell the story of what was here before the clearcuts. From avalanche path to the valley bottom, the entire landscape has been logged. Why did the Province allow this kind of logging in such important fish and wildlife habitat? Because this land is private land, and there are very few rules for private land logging.
The lack of regulations for private land logging has shifted the burden to communities, forcing British Columbians to pay the price for lax provincial rules that let big companies claim tax breaks while clearcutting vast areas. Water, wildlife, and community recreation suffer in community after community when private land logging destroys forests. The Union of BC Municipalities has passed 15 resolutions dating back to 1991 asking the province to fix private land logging regulations, yet no real action has been taken.
Please speak up for much-needed changes to the Private Managed Forest Lands Act today.
Big cedars fall to the saw in the St. Mary's Valley. Photo: Bailey Repp
Citizens have already been forced to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to stop private clearcuts, like Cottonwood, near Nelson. In the Columbia Valley, communities are fighting to protect water sources threatened by private clearcuts. And in the Elk Valley, efforts are underway to raise $20M to purchase 75 square kilometres of private land from Canwel right beside Fernie.
Tell Forests Minister Katrine Conroy that the Private Managed Forest Lands Act needs to be fixed today to stop private clearcuts and protect our communities.