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B.C. grassroots group calls for change to forest management in watersheds

The IWTF is forming to help change the way the logging industry works
Peachland Watershed after mass logging. (Interior Watershed Task Force/Contributed to Black Press Media)

A new task force has been formed to help protect and preserve the B.C. watersheds.

The Interior Watershed Task Force is a group of grassroots organizations that are coming together to face what it calls a “crisis point” of impacts from the commercial logging industry in the B.C. watersheds. In a news release in May, the task force also stated that commercial logging has caused clear-cutting to become “unreasonably large” and also added excessive roads amount other factors.

These activities have led to “poor water quality and supply, extreme flooding events, destructive landslides, wildfires, and degraded wildlife and plant life diversity,” with climate change making all of these effects worse, said the group.

“All communities, including Indigenous ones, are under threat of industrial logging.”

Many locations around B.C. face threats that experts have said can be directly linked to logging.

READ MORE:Disappearing glaciers in B.C. put tourism, watersheds at risk: scientist

The task force is proposing a paradigm shift in the way forests are managed in B.C., including a plan to stop clear-cut logging, a change in forest governance, and a change to existing forest management legislation that places the protection of water supply. The first plan of attack is to circulate a petition to gauge the level of concern from the public with an online petition.

According to the group, the logging industry currently does not give communities the ability to respond to the threats that over-logging imposes. It’s also reported that logging companies will fail to disclose the full extent of plans and public consultation not affecting the plans.

Logging companies tended not to take responsibility for major events citing that climate change was the culprit, said the IWTF.

“We need to stop seeing public forests as resources and see them as a public trust held for future generations,” said Herb Hammond, retired B.C. forester and forest ecologist.

The petition can be found online at

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