Carbon source not carbon sink

Staff writer
March 28, 2014 01:00 AM


Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) conducted a site visit to the former Wilson Creek forest, a Sunshine Coast community forest (block EW002) that was logged in 2012, to inspect its current condition and was alarmed to find 54 slash piles set to be burnt.

The BC Wildfire Man-agement Branch requires that post-logging debris be removed in some way, with burning as one option; however, they prefer to see debris taken off site and used for a productive purpose. They also suggest that the woody material could be ground on site as a soil nutrient, rather than simply burnt, which is now seen as a wasteful practice.

ELF is concerned that many of the piles are concentrated together and when burnt will cause extreme soil temperatures, negatively impacting regeneration in a wide surrounding area by killing off soil nutrients. The piles should be removed, rather than burnt.

We also believe the public is very concerned about climate change and realizes that our forests need to contribute to climate change mitigation, rather than exacerbate it through the old practice of slash burning.

The logging of the Wilson Creek forest removed a carbon sequestering function, then, combined with SCCF's future slash burns, has turned this site into a carbon source, rather than a carbon sink.

Ross Muirhead, Elphinstone Logging Focus

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