The north face of Box Mountain is covered with widely spaced large fir and cedars with few understory trees. There has never been a documented wildfire on the mountain and it’s a low risk for wildfires. However, a wildfire would not be impossible and measures to further reduce the risk would be a good thing.
I was shocked, however, when I saw NACFOR’s wildfire risk reduction plan which called for many kms of permanent logging roads and removal of half of the large old trees, hundreds of truck loads, off the mountain. This makes no sense since these trees are the very thing that make the mountain a low risk of fire. Removing the large fire resistant trees would promote the growth of a dense understory and make the mountain more prone to wildfires.
It also seems obvious that changing the mountain to this extent will potentially have a negative impact on the wells and streams 300 homes in the watershed depend on. I again was shocked to hear that NACFOR (Nakusp and Area Community Forest) would not provide any assistance to anyone that might have a well that goes dry after their logging. They say they will do the minimum required by the province to log in the watershed and beyond that they feel they have no responsibility to the 300 residences in the area. They have even gone as far as telling one resident she should spend her time working on a community water system, paid for by people in the watershed, rather than raising awareness of their plan and its potential problems.
If there was a wildfire on Box Mountain, the residents most likely to suffer a loss are the 300 homes in the watershed. It would stand to reason that these people would be the ones most supportive of a wildfire reduction plan. However, the majority of the residents in the watershed have signed a petition opposing NACFOR’s plan.
It’s obvious NACFOR’s motivation in logging Box Mountain is profit, not fire prevention. NACFOR is very good at making money. Every year, they make many hundreds of thousands in profits.
NACFOR is also generous and contributes to many local organizations. This, however, does not give them license to lie and bully the people most affected by their logging.
A wildfire risk reduction plan shouldn’t be this controversial. The people that stand to benefit the most from a wildfire risk reduction plan, in this case the people in the watershed, should be it’s biggest cheerleaders, not the ones most opposed to the plan.
NACFOR needs to put aside their greed, scrap their current logging plan and develop a new wildfire risk reduction plan, consulting with people in the watershed and treating them with respect. This needs to be done while the plan is being developed, not just notifying after. If they did this, I’m sure a plan could be developed that everyone would be proud of.
Terrence Janzen, Nakusp