Hank Shelley

Saving Shuswap forests everyone’s responsibility

Shuswap Outdoors/Hank Shelley

A few seasons back, while glassing mountain goats from high atop an alpine glade, the huge cedars in the forest below Mt. Joss in the upper Wap (south of Three Valley Gap) were all gone. A profusion of stumps remained. Logging roads wound up the rugged valley.

We had fought wildfire under the canopy of those giants 30 seasons before. The steep terrain alpine is also home to a population of grizzly bears. (Two, which terrorized our three-man camp one night). Goat quarters were strung high in a balsam tree.

Trying to keep a small bit of BC wilderness wild is becoming more complicated these days, due to increased logging activity. This, to increase a steady supply of logs to computerized mills, with fewer workers.

However, our forests are under attack by what was the pine beetle, and now the fir bark beetle, attacking blow down and stressed stands of mature fir timber, let alone the huge volume of timber lost to wildfires, 2017-18. So our forests as we once knew them are under threat.

Related: 2017 – Candidates tackle the environment

The diseased, burnt timber has to be logged. While some hunters and anglers are okay with such damaged landscapes, others that love the wilderness agree with a saying by Aldo Leopold, father of conservation: ”To build a road is much simpler than to think of what the country really needs. Recreational development is a job not of building roads into lovely country, but of building receptivity into the still unlovely human mind.”

It doesn’t have to be that way. With hard work and backwoods skills, inspiration of pristine nature still matters today, more than ever, as we see what climate change is doing to the planet, and us at home.

Related: Forest cleared of 22,000 pounds of junk

Too, we must be more vocal and tune into Forest Watch and BC Timber sales, what’s happening in our watersheds. Go online for information on current outdoor events, including water-quality issues.

The attitude of “as long as it doesn’t affect me” doesn’t hold water anymore. Our wildlife, large and small including bird life, are feeling the effects of extensive tree harvest and wildfire, as the habitat and forest they call home is also dwindling, at an alarming rate.

Too, there will have to be consultation between First Nations, hunters and wildlife groups if we want continued harvest of elk, moose, deer, bear, salmon and trout in a shrinking environment. Although First Nations groups/Metis, can harvest game through August/December, I’ve found it very difficult as Native affairs chair (BCWF, region #3) to get accountability on meetings and harvest numbers over time. They are under the microscope too for what the future holds for game populations when the rubber hits the road!


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Race is on for Shuswap late-run sockeye salmon

New estimates say about 750,000 sockeye will spawn on the Adams River, similar to 2014 dominant run

In photos: Ready, set, roll!

Friendship Day Soap Box Derby excitement in downtown Salmon Arm

Iconic Shuswap sternwheeler undergoing work for return to service

Sicamous business owner Mike Helfrick hopes to offer dinner tours on historic vessel

Semi-truck rollover reported on Trans-Canada between Salmon Arm and Sicamous

No injuries being reported, traffic down to single lane alternating

Salmon Arm library to undergo upgrades over the winter

New meeting space planned for Okanagan Regional Library’s Salmon Arm branch

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

Ottawa area residents take stock of tornado rubble as Ford tours the ruins

A tornado on Friday afternoon tore roofs off of homes, overturned cars and felled power lines in the Ottawa community of Dunrobin and in Gatineau, Que.

Trudeau arrives at United Nations, hoping to re-establish Canada on world stage

Trudeau is beginning his day at the opening of the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, where he’s scheduled to deliver brief remarks later this afternoon.

B.C.’s FATSO peanut butter to appear on Dragon’s Den

The Victoria company will be featured on the Sept. 27 episode of the popular show highlighting Canadian businesses

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Trans Canada now open west of Chase, ‘heavy delays’

Few details available about crash that closed Trans Canada Highway west of Chase Sunday, Sept. 23

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

Most Read