‘We can kiss good water goodbye’

Local resident says the watershed issue needs to be taken to the UBCM to demand protection for Port Alberni’s watershed.

To the Editor,

Re: Creekers can kiss boil water advisories goodbye, July 17.

We can all kiss clean water goodbye if the clearcut logging on steep slopes in our watershed continues as is happening right now.

It appears that all levels of government have left it up to Port Alberni citizens to pay for damage being done to our China Creek watershed, the source of our drinking water. Beaver Creek residents will well remember what happened to their water following the Beaufort slide in 2006.

Right now, there is logging on steep slopes in our China Creek watershed. Before Island Timberlands became the owner of our watershed, former owners MacMillan-Bloedel and Weyerhaeuser made an agreement to protect this fragile region from logging. Furthermore, the environment ministry had formally designated our watershed an Ungulate Winter Range (UWR) in order to protect Roosevelt Elk and deer populations.

While Island Timberlands cuts the heart out of McLaughlin Ridge right above our watershed, I ask, why is no one taking a stand to protect our drinking water?

The late Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District director Glenn Wong attempted to convince Island Timberlands to make a land swap and he lobbied the provincial government to buy our watershed back from Island Timberlands. His efforts were to no avail.

It is now up to citizens of Port Alberni to take this urgent matter into our own hands. Otherwise, we will be paying for expensive water treatment or worse yet, for water supplied by a private corporation at exorbitant prices.

At the very least, our city council could take the watershed issue to the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) to demand protection for Port Alberni’s watershed. Vancouver and Victoria have protected watersheds, so why not us?

I urge readers to please write and phone city council to stop the logging on McLaughlin Ridge. As well, contact: Steve Thomson FLNR (minister@gov.bc.ca), P.O. Box 9049, Stn. Provincial Government, Victoria, B.C. V8W 9E2, phone 250-387-6240.

J.A. Thompson,

Port Alberni

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