We have been busy this summer gathering support from stakeholders and educating the public. BCTS meetings have been often, and eye-opening. BCTS has been polite, information and unyielding. We continue to meet with various invested parties.
We have official support from RDCK, our MLA and the Ktanaxa nation.
Fundraising is underway with a gofundme page (see donation button) and community dinner and party next Saturday (Aug 26th). We are also selling t-shirts and stickers.
Emily's class's children's book "Saving Quartz Creek" is in it's final stages of publishing.
The BCTS referral period has officially begun and we continue to write letters about our values and our concerns.
We are beginning fundraising initiatives, primarily our community-wide dinner in August.
Action team continues to meet with both the ministry and BCTS. They have postponed building roads until summer of 2019.
So a lot has been happening these past weeks. We have a website and active facebook group. We've gotten media attention (CBC, Nelson Star, Juice FM). We've designed and made t-shirts. We organized a giant community photo with 100+ people. We've continued our letter writing enthusiasm! J and Alan have met with representatives from BCTS. We have gathered research regarding the history of the watershed, the limitations of the hydrology report and the ecology of the watershed. We have received a lot of support (including official support from the RDCK).
We will be having a booth at Tiny Lights and Kaslo Jazzfest for letter writing, education and fundraising... A petition is being created. We are waiting for the summer to arrive in the watershed in order to look for blue and red-listed species. We have experts awaiting the melt and ready to lead identification walks. The official feedback time for BCTS begins June 15 and we hope to have 1 event per week for the 60 days.
It's been just over a week since we heard the news of proposed logging in our watershed. In that time, we have made contact with the MLA candidates and the media. Our town-wide meeting had an impressive turn out, and smaller groups have gathered since. We have had two community walks through quartz creek, which is still snow-covered in places (which indicates its [important] cooler temperature.) Many people have come forward with social media feedback, important expertise and valuable connections. Well done everyone!
Here's a link to a successful story near Powell River - http://wcel.org/resources/environmental-law-alert/drinking-water-wins-jefferd-creek-logging-battle
On Wednesday, April 19th two BCTS representatives held a "courtesy" meeting with Area G Director Hans Cunningham and other RDCK staff outlining plans for the first phase of logging the Ymir Community Watershed: the same area currently designated a "Watershed Protection Area" by the RDCK.
Most Ymir residents appreciate the direct and indirect benefits of responsible logging in BC. The current BCTS plan to log our tiny, delicate, 6km/sq community watershed is not responsible logging. It is the only source of drinking and fire-fighting water critical to all of our almost 400 residents.
Surface water feeds the creek system that supplies our small intake pond which in turn feeds our treatment plant. Mature trees shade the entire watershed, ensuring that we don't lose too much water to evaporation. There is no large reservoir. During the hottest, driest summers, our water supply gets low and has caused issues in the past. If levels get any lower, we will be in crisis. Logging in our tiny watershed poses an unnecessary risk to our entire community.