Forestry Concerns

The Lakelse watershed with its aquatic and terrestrial components has a unique mixture of habitats, from the Lakelse River, as part of the Skeena system, to numerous creeks that drain into the lake. The southern wetlands and remaining old growth forests all require careful balancing of resource values related to human development. Everything we do within the watershed has cumulative impacts.

The practice of forestry includes road building, harvesting, and replanting. The Lakelse Lake Watershed has experienced over 40 years of industrial logging. As these complex forests have been cut, options for the biodiversity of plants, fish and wildlife are now reduced. Reforestation has often been met with problems of soil erosion on steep sites, with thin and nutrient poor soils, and the loss of topsoil, leaving bare ground and sand, making forest regeneration in some areas difficult or unlikely.

Road building, and the practice of clearcutting up to the smaller tributary streams, with little or no riparian buffer, and the loss of protective habitat connectivity for wildlife, are all real threats in the watershed. Creeks and their tributaries require water clear of sediment, with trees and shrubs as overhang to cool the water to keep salmon and trout happy.

Check out this website: www.for.gov.bc.ca/dkm

The above website is available to the public. It was put together by The Ministry of Forest And Range (MOFR) and local Licensees for the Kalum Forest District. This makes it easier for the public to contact the lisencees and view their tenures and logging proposals.

Effects of Forest Harvesting on Hydrology include:

• increased average run-off and total yield,

• clearcutting increases storm run-off and advances timing,

• small and moderate early autumn storms are most affected,

• logging roads increase storm run-off and advance timing of floods,

• water quality deterioration has been widely documented,

• results are consistent for the whole of the Pacific Northwest,

• rain on snow effects seem to be accentuated by forest harvesting.

(Olav Slaymaker,Professor of Geology & Director for the Study of Global Issues at UBC)