Global warming, extreme heat temperatures, and human causes have been blamed for the current extreme wildfire conditions in B.C.
What is seldom mentioned is the generations-long lack of management of one of the province’s most precious resources: our forests. Management of our forests has been left as voluntary by the industry for years. Back in the 1980s, the industry suffered some blow-back consequences, like boycotts by nations in Europe.
As I recall, it was the clear-cutting at Bowron Lakes that could be seen from space that prompted the boycott of B.C. lumber in the mid-1980s and up to the 1990s. The clear-cutting got a lot of international publicity. That’s when phrases like “sustainable development” and “selective logging” became the catchwords. The government even put signs up on highways indicating selective logging was taking place.
We are still clear-cutting. Not far from Ashcroft, a whole mountainside within sight of our village has been clear cut.
One of Loon Lake’s pioneer family members, Jim Baker, complained to me about lack of forest management. His family had ranched in the area since the turn of the last century. Jim said there was so much that should have been done, cleaning the forests up. Controlled burning, in other words. Jim knew what the consequences would be. That was back in the early 1980s; more than 40 years ago.
Time has marched on. It must be obvious that the lack of forest management back then and in the years before the 1980s is one of the major causes of our present condition. The costs are too costly to estimate. If we would only look to countries that have been managing their forests, like the Nordic countries and Germany, for many decades, we would learn how.
The time has long passed for Canada to stop acting like some wilderness colony. My God, we have the technology to do so. All we need is the will.
A special thank you to the doctor and nurses who cared for Evert at the Ashcroft ER before having him transported to RIH.
A special thank you to Sonja and Gordon for always being there these last two years. Thank you to Esther, Marcus, Ida, and Barb for your assistance.
Also, thanks for the cards and phone calls during this difficult time.
Inga Krider and family