Duncan – Ken James of the Youbou Timberless Society once stated that: “Instead of clear-cutting our forests and shipping out raw logs to international locations for milling and cutting, that we push our government representatives to ensure international forest companies mill the lumber in B.C. By this method we could cut half as many trees and employ twice as many B.C. workers.”
Instead, we have clear-cut our forests to such an extent around Lake Cowichan and the mountains surrounding the Cowichan River that there are no dense forests left to hold back rain water (resulting in flooding in rainy seasons), and no thick forests left to keep the forest floor from drying out in the hotter months (resulting in significant drought periods affecting the river flow).
Throw in housing and big-box store developments paving over land which previously held back moisture in the soil…and we have a real water problem.
I am sure this process in going on all across B.C. One of the solutions is to consume less.
Another is to encourage industry to use less water in the dry season.
Another is to raise the weir and keep the lake waters a few feet higher to compensate in the dry season.
And the most important is to re-think our policies around the logging industry.
That means regulate clear-cutting and re-planting practices in such a way that the forests continue to assist in preventing erosion, floods, and the lowering of river levels.