Opposed to the proposed fire mitigation

Editor:

Writing today to express my serious concerns around proposed fire mitigation (logging) activities in an area adjacent to what is currently known as “Indian Bay” on Francois Lake, near Southbank. I am the property owner at the western-most extremity of the proposed area, on the lake shore. The proposed area transits my back property line east-west from lake shore to Uncha Lake Road.

My reasons for being strongly opposed to this are:

– Wild fires in this area have been seen to travel west to east due to westerly prevailing winds in the summer (the proposed area is east of the greatest part of the community)

– Destruction of well-established new growth in the proposed area

– Erosion, given the proximity to Francois Lake, and with 2 active creeks running through the area

– Disruption of wildlife

– Visual impact from the lake, and from the north shore community

– Disruption of my privacy

– Increased wind exposure and subsequently more blow down on my property.

Please notice that with a fire incident in the area, I am one the first to be affected.

From a conversation with Ken Neilsen, Chinook Community Forests Manager, in Feb, there was at that time no completed plan so the extent of this is unknown. It was explained the intent was for standing dead and blow down to be cleaned up either as salvage or piled and burnt on sight. Further, mature standing green wood would also be removed. This level of activity will largely destroy the regeneration already in progress. I expect we’ll be left with what amounts to a logging block on the edge of the community with the smallest amount of regeneration left which doesn’t get destroyed in the process.

Further, the public is frequently hearing it’s not a case of IF these areas with heavy fuel loading burn but WHEN. Firstly, in my opinion, there is a fine line between proper information on the dangers, and outright fear mongering; I believe we are on this line. Secondly, there is enough heavy equipment in the “Lakes District”, it is a spider web of roads providing access and fire breaks, the map is poke-a-dotted with lakes, we all played connect-the-dot when we were kids. Surely we should be able to deal with any fires which might break out provided there is desire to do so. I remain very critical of BC Wildfire and the events of 2018 in the Lakes District.

I stand strongly opposed to the proposed fire mitigation in the Indian Bay – Southbank area.

Gord Stanton

Southbank

Post script: Above is condensed version of a letter I sent in Feb, hoping to get published last week, missed deadline. Attended open house Friday 11th at Southbank Fire Hall where-in the actual treatment plan was made available. My worst fear was brought to reality in that the proposed treatment calls for clear cutting for a distance back on my east-west property line before reverting to selective. Disrupting my privacy and creating a wind tunnel which will result in increased blow down on my property. I remain strongly opposed. Anyone wishing to discuss further with me, I am in the phone book (Grassy Plains).