Was there no alternative to clearcutting Echo Lake?

Imagine my shock and horror when I returned

After an absence of about a year, last week I returned to Echo Lake, a local lake about 10 minutes drive southwest of town.

Echo Lake is known and listed as a lake that supports cutthroat and rainbow trout, and is a popular destination for anglers, including myself. Its small size, its relative seclusion and its natural beauty are a blessing to campers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Imagine my shock and horror when I returned, expecting to find the familiar Echo Lake I knew, and finding the entire circumference of the lake logged.

Those who are familiar with the lake know that the Gold River highway runs parallel to the lake for a stretch, and this remains nearly the only section of the area that hasn’t been clearcut. This logging extends far up the hillside that borders the lake and will likely provide fertile ground for erosion in the future. Deviating from standard ecological practice, the logging company has cleared right up to the shoreline in many places, leaving a margin of one or two trees.

I come from a family that has been supported through many different types of natural-resource based occupations, including the logging industry. I recognize the importance of the industry, and its contribution to the B.C. economy. However, the management of the resources of Echo Lake was shortsighted and irresponsible.

Was there really no other alternative? Was a clearcut necessary in such close proximity to a fish bearing lake readily used by so many? Perhaps these are some of the questions that should have been asked beforehand.

Ben Louter

Campbell River