Support for clear-cutting debate

Re: article titled, Recent flood re-ignites clear-cutting debate

Dear editor,

I would like to comment on the article titled, Recent flood re-ignites clear-cutting debate (Dec. 16 Comox Valley Record)

I too believe the logging that is taking place in the local area’s watersheds is the reason we are now having flooding problems in the Lewis Park/Old Island Highway/Lower Headquarters areas.

My experience comes from the many years I spent maintaining the highways in the Comox Valley area. In the 1970s, the Cliffe Avenue/Fifth Street Bridge/Old Island Highway route to Campbell River and the route to the Powell River ferry came under the provincial government’s responsibility.

It was before the 17th Street  Bridge was built. Plus the Inland Highway had not been built at that time. It was when logging was still being carried out in local watersheds. At this time we did experience a lot of flooding in the aforementioned areas.

The Department of Highways at the time replaced the old wooden bin wall that was along the river bank with a cement block wall and self-draining cement barrier. We may have raised the road surface in the area a little at that time. It made the road safer and if it flooded, as soon as the water level receded the road drained.

As logging declined and forests regrew, there was little or no flooding in the area.

That is the only thing that changed, we still had winter storms, Dyke Road has always been there. There has been more building in the area, I agree.

We now are experiencing flooding again. What has changed? We are still having winter storms, Dyke Road is still there, it has not been changed. Logging is again taking place at unprecedented levels.

The areas that have been logged since 2009 are equivalent to the area that Comox Logging/Crown Zellerbach took over 40 years to log, I would say. All you have to do is drive in the Comox/Willemar Lake/Browns/Tsolum River areas to see recent logging. A plane trip over the area would give a better view. The internet would also provide similar views.

I would think if the statistics could be reviewed of the amount of area logged in the watershed mentioned, and the amount flooding that had taken place at various times, a case could be easily made to compare the area logged to the amount of flooding. Common sense tells me that, the less ground cover there is, the quicker the water will flow.

Frank Carter

Cumberland