P.O. BOX # 39154, 3695 West 10th
Vancouver, B.C. V6R-1G0.
Hon. Mike De Jong, Faxed to: (250) 387-1040
B.C. Minister of Forests
Re: Community Forest Licence Tenures and Drinking Watershed Logging
Mr. De Jong,
The B.C. Tap Water Alliance is extremely concerned about your Ministry's intention of including provincial drinking watershed sources (Community and Domestic watersheds, Watershed Reserves) in the Community Forest Licence Tenure program.
The Community Forest program was initiated as a result of the Jobs and Timber Accord in 1997, under the direction of Forests Minister Zirnhelt with the previous NDP administration. At that time a pilot project granted a handful of licences to "community eco-foresters" and First Nation groups. Also included were the Harrop-Proctor Community Forest Licence holders, logging their drinking watersheds (west of Nelson City). At present we understand from your staff that there are between 92-97 applications for such tenures, an unknown number of which apparently include drinking watershed sources. However, this information does not appear to be readily available to the public but we feel it should be.
Would you please direct your staff to ascertain how many of the Tenures already granted and how many of the new applications involve logging proposals in community and domestic watershed sources, and then provide us on your findings. In addition, we request from your Ministry a list of all the Community Forest Licence applicants.
For your information, the BC Tap Water Alliance has just published an informative newsletter on this subject (please see the BCTWA website).
Will Koop, Coordinator.
cc. Hon. Bill Barisoff, Minister of Water, Land, and Air Protection
Hon. George Abbott, Minister of Sustainable Resource Management
The Official Opposition (NDP)/ Green Party of BC
Auditor General of B.C.
Drinking Water Protection Office/ Deputy Provincial Health Officer, Ministry of Health
Community Forest Advisory Committee
B.C. Community Forest Association
Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs
Union of B.C. Municipalities
West Coast Environmental Law Association / Sierra Legal Defence Fund
Slocan Valley Watershed Alliance
Valhalla Wilderness Society
Western Canada Wilderness Committee
David Suzuki Foundation
Society Promoting Environmental Conservation
B.C. Environmental Network