LETTER: Glade residents concerned about logging

Preservation of potable water is the overarching concern here in Glade.

The waterfall on Glade Creek. Some residents worry logging in the watershed could affect drinking water quality.

On Sept. 30, a meeting was held in Glade by Kalesnikoff Lumber and Atco Wood Products concerning their proposed logging plans for Glade Creek watershed. At that time Kim Green of Apex Geoscience provided preliminary work of a Glade hydrogeomorphic assessment report. This report is now complete. A follow up community meeting is planned for Feb. 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Glade hall. Kalesnikoff and Atco representatives will be in attendance. All stakeholders are urged to attend.

After the September meeting I went door to door on behalf of the Glade watershed protection sub-committee. Preservation of potable water is the overarching concern here in Glade. Other concerns are logging trucks frequenting Glade Road through the community; the presence of bull trout in Glade Creek and the preservation of our adjacent wooded area and sign-posted hiking trails.

The Doukhobor community has used Glade Creek since settlement over 100 years ago. For over four decades the Glade Irrigation District has maintained a drinking water system in the Glade watershed which provides water for about 100 homes. (Residents of upper Glade not on the system could be affected by the proposed logging as well.)

According to BC’s Community Watershed Guidebook, logged areas increase run-off, erosion and rate of snow melt; landslides and channel-change processes happen. Indeed, past disturbances have resulted in at least three landslides and ongoing sources of sediment in Glade Creek.

Where turbidity levels are elevated in source water, disinfection is compromised. Bacteriological constituents in the water along with sediments may overwhelm the disinfection system even while treatment and delivery of water to the community occur. This is our only water source and we are currently working with Interior Health Authority to improve the quality of our water. Logging the Glade watershed would create an additional burden on the people of Glade and compound the existing risk to the potability of Glade water.

It also concerns Glade residents that logging trucks contracted to Kalesnikoff Lumber would routinely travel where no sidewalks exist. Walking is big in Glade. Whether it’s parents pushing strollers with toddlers following on tricycles or my elderly neighbours getting their exercise, the roads of Glade are traversed many times daily. Would logging trucks safely pass our school bus on our narrow roads? What about safety and congestion at the Glade ferry loading sites?

There are the bull trout, a provincially blue-listed species to consider as well. Their conservation is important to BC. Their presence in Glade Creek has been recorded by Fish and Wildlife. Bull trout are very sensitive to turbidity and require cold, clear water. A professional assessment of their status is planned for summer 2016.

The park-like lower slopes of Glade watershed border our community. On any given day, summer or winter you will find people and dogs enjoying themselves there. In stifling July heat those trails under the canopy are a cool, fragrant retreat. On skis in December, it is a place of sparkling enchantment. The prospect of Glade residents and visitors scrambling over parched piles of slash and gravel to reach the waterfall there is truly saddening.

In closing I would like to say Glade residents understand logging is a part of the prosperity which maintains the Kootenays. Prosperity though, is not only measured by financial gain, but also by such things as pure, potable water and a safe, healthy environment in which to live.

Y. Neilson, Glade

 

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