The Woods Betrayed
by Donna Getz of Pink Mountain, BC
Nestled amongst the Canadian Rocky Mountains in northeastern British Columbia is a beautiful valley known as Cypress. Twisting its way down the valley, with its many tributaries, is a crystal clear stream known as Cypress Creek.
Many bear, moose, deer, caribou and elk call this valley home. There are many fur bearing animals that dwell here as well.
For years Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor), has wanted to log this area. The local trapper, Pat Brady and the Halfway River First Nation kept Canfor out for over ten years until they realized it was more profitable for them to trap Canfor and the oil companies rather than the fur bearing animals.
Rather than having this beautiful area select logged with horses and/or small machines so it remained well cared for and scenic, they opted to let Canfor come in with their contractor to destroy this valley forever.
This contractor with one faller buncher can flatten and tramp forty acres while cutting 25 loads per day. They do not leave the young forest to live on to be harvested another day, they trample and bruise it into the ground, destroyed forever.
What of the squirrels, grouse, frogs, mice and fur bearing animals that call this home? They were betrayed by the ones who studied them, lived off them to either be trampled by the machines or try to find a new home as winter set in. Their food supply and homes are gone forever so may many of them be gone forever. What greed does to us!
What of the horse logger that was your friend for many years? Is this the way you pay him back for giving you a job when you and your family were hungry? He was starving all spring and summer, did you help him? Is this the way you help him now by destroying his job so he has to go elsewhere for work?
This friend, whom you let others influence you against, would have supported you had you let him. Instead you chose to believe others and destroy your friendship forever.
Together you could have saved this valley. You could have kept her the way God meant. You could have built her up, cleaned her up and made her a wonderful place to live, visit and a home for all wildlife.
The old forest could have been thinned out so the rest of the forest could grow. There would be more grass and berries for the wildlife to live off. The trails would be clear for them to walk on.
No roads would have to be cut through this country as there are enough seismic lines already there. Small machines and horses could forward timber to the main road. Horses could be used in the forest to skid out to these seismic lines. Many people would have jobs for years to come. One operator on one faller buncher put 50 people per day out of work in horse logging.
Cypress-Halfway Valleys have a different breed of people living in them. They all want the same thing but are not willing to help one another. They like to cause problems between friends and think it’s funny when they are no longer friends. They don’t like to see someone get something they didn’t. It is the only community that isn’t a community. There is no church, no community hall, no meeting place. It is the only place that would allow someone to come in and destroy the valley forever.
Had they worked together, they, their families for generations would have work in the forest. They would have a scenic valley in which trail rides could be taken. Hunting and fishing would improve.
As I write this, I hear the screaming roar of faller bunchers destroying acres of forest land while a lonely horse logger struggles to untangle the twisted mess of blow down. What a contrast! One destroying, the other trying to enhance.
In a few weeks, this horse logger will be finished with his contract, out of a job and looking for another. Jobs for him are getting fewer and fewer, thanks to the greed of others and faller bunchers.
All too soon he will gather his horses, camp and equipment, with his crippled wife, move on…