The Sunshine Coast Community Forest (SCCF) decided to start road building and tree falling in HM50 four weeks ago, at the beginning of the rainy season. Was that a sound operational decision? They’ve already had to shut down several times due to rain storms, including the big one on Nov. 15.
Intense rainfall events are now commonplace because of climate change and yet SCCF wants to keep on logging “on behalf of the community” so they can hand out grants to nonprofits short on funds. However, what damage is being inflicted upon the landscape and down slope infrastructure?
ELF visited HM50 on the Nov. 15 shut-down day and documented ditch lines overwhelmed with new surface water gushing off slopes because of road building, water redirected over the slope where it met The Locomotive Trail, which then turned into a raging torrent, then flooding out a wet zone below, which created a new channel sending water pouring across hydro and gas right of way.
I documented a large volume of surface water from HM50 being directed into a culvert crossing Highway 101 and entering Kenyon Creek coming out of Trout Lake at a low flow. Kenyon Creek crosses Belair Road where the bank was collapsing due to this peak flow condition. Then the creek crosses Redrooffs Rd below.
Sometime on Nov. 15, the culvert and road at Redrooffs blew out.
There were several factors leading to this blow-out, including in my opinion (based on a working knowledge of hydrology), new surface water volumes from HM50 and an adjacent tree farm directed into Kenyon Creek – all day long.
Increased water volumes introduced into existing channels (creeks) increases water velocity and pressures by a compounding factor.
Its time to save our forests on these south-facing slopes.
Ross Muirhead, Elphinstone Logging Focus