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Paradise Valley residents send cease-and-desist letter to SIFCo and Ministry of Forests

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
April 23rd, 2024

A ‘cease-and-desist’ order has been issued to the Province and Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative by Slocan Valley residents demanding abandonment of plans to cut trees and build a road in a sensitive watershed.

Residents of Paradise Valley — located 50 kilometres north of Nelson in Winlaw off of Highway 6 — sent the cease-and-desist letter to Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative (SIFCo) and the B.C. Ministry of Forests, regarding the plans for commercial timber-harvesting and road-building for Paradise Valley and Dumont Creek watershed.

Citing further water quality, quantity and flow issues in Dumont Creek — a water source that provides for around 40 households — if the work were to take place, the letter noted that the creek has already been recently impacted by drought and climate change.

The residents have threatened legal action if SIFCo and MoF refuse to comply with their demand, said John Wittmayer, Paradise Valley resident and spokesperson for the Dumont Creek water users.

“We are standing up for the Paradise Valley and for the long-term sustainability of Dumont Creek,” he said. “Commercial logging and road building by SIFCo under the guise of ‘wildfire fuel management’ threatens our quality of life and our ability to continue living here long-term.

“We have, therefore, issued the demand letter, calling on SIFCo and the Province to abandon their commercial logging plans for Crown land in the Paradise Valley.”

In order to respect a change in hydrology of the creek and watershed over the last few years — due to climate change — the letter asks SIFCo and the Ministry of Forests to conduct commercial harvesting and road-building outside the ‘Paradise Valley pan handle.’

It’s “a small area of Crown land that should never have been included in SIFCo’s Community Forest license area,” said Wittmayer.

Neither SIFCo nor the B.C. Ministry of Forests replied by press time.

Categories: General

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