SCCA and ECA Respond to BCTS Mt. Elphinstone South Hydrology Study

A large portion of BC Timber Sales (BCTS) tenure area on Mt. Elphinstone is in the Mountain Block recharge area of two prolific aquifers (560 & 552)

These aquifers supplement Sunshine Coast’s primary drinking water system. As climate change wreaks havoc on the Chapman Creek Watershed, our community is relying more and more on these aquifers to sustain our community. 

BCTS has planned a number cutblocks in this area, over the next few years. We are calling on BCTS to halt logging plans in the Mt. Elphinstone watershed assessment area and support a Water Sustainability Plan to protect these aquifer recharge area forests.

Background

In 2021, and again last year during the drought induced water emergency, 20,000+ people on the Coast relied on the Town of Gibsons to pump water from the Elphinstone-Gibson-Granthams Aquifer (560) to supplement a failing water supply from the Chapman Creek watershed. The situation became dire as the drought stretched into December, and the subalpine watershed system froze. Fortunately the emergency water restrictions were lifted when the rains finally came in mid December

The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD), Elphinstone Community Association (ECA) and Reed Road Forest Working Group have been trying to stop BCTS from logging a 48 hectare block Reed Road Forest (DL-1313) since 2013. DL 1313 is in the heart of the Elphinstone-Gibsons-Grantham’s Aquifer 560 recharge area. 

Based on years of hydrogeological study done by the Town of Gibsons and the SCRD, we knew that logging in this area is fraught with risks to downstream ecosystems, and our aquifers. We pressed BCTS to undertake a hydrological study for Mt. Elphinstone because we knew the results of this study would highlight these risks, and help make the case NOT to log in this area. 

The SCCA created the West Howe Sound Watershed Protection Project to stop resource extraction within the Mount Elphinstone aquifer recharge areas, while we engage all levels of government and First Nations to establish formal protections over this area. 

Please read our letter to BCTS and government decsion makers asking for support to stop future logging in the Mt. Elphinstone watersheds, and protect these critical drinking water source areas.

For more information about the work we are doing to protect Sunshine Coast watersheds please join our mailing list and/or contact us directly.  

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