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General News · 13th March 2024
Dina King
Call-out to comment on CFGP’s immediate plans for the Anvil Lake Watershed

Friends of Anvil Lake, humbly and respectfully give gratitude for living on the traditional and ancestral lands of the toq qaymɩxʷ (Klahoose), ɬəʔamɛn qaymɩxʷ (Tla’amin), and ʔop qaymɩxʷ (Homalco) peoples and in particular, for the opportunity to be partners in the Cortes Forestry General Partnership (CFGP).

Friends of Anvil Lake wish to speak for a watershed known to the Cortes Island settler community as the Anvil Lake Watershed; see attached satellite image.
We view CFGP plans for this watershed through the lens of climate change.

Friends of Anvil Lake have respectfully and diligently responded to CFGP’s invitations for public consultation on ANV1 and GH1; providing strong, consistent input from June 2022 to present.
CFGP has proceeded, business as usual, with their plans to develop roads into the Anvil Lake Watershed for the purposes of logging and fire mitigation in their presently drafted 5 year plan 2024-2028.

Friends of Anvil Lake believed that if enough people expressed concerns over CFGP’s proposed operations in the Anvil Lake Watershed, they would honour that and not proceed with operations.
Friends of Anvil Lake are therefore appealing to the Cortes community to respectfully comment on CFGP’s plans for the Anvil Lake Watershed.

We, the 94 signatories to the Friends of Anvil Lake’s 2022 petition to protect Anvil Lake, are appealing to the CFGP to provide our next opportunity for public consultation – which would represent our first opportunity to sit together again since the May 11th, 2023 public meeting that launched the present 5 year plan consultation.

Notice of the falling of trees commencing this Spring/ early 2024, to continue the Gorge Harbour Mainline, was posted on the Cortes Tideline February 27th and the CFGP website February 28th; these notices were not accompanied by an invitation for public consultation.
On March 10th the Cortes Community Forest Cooperative advised its membership that this road building would commence March 18th with no invitation for public consultation or site visit.

This proposed road building represents only the first operation in preparation for future logging plans of the greater Anvil Lake Watershed; it is essential we maintain a long-term, landscape level view of this proposal.
Compacted, permanent road building and the logging that follows, will negatively impact the hydrology of the greater Anvil Lake Watershed.

Anvil Lake is the wetland at the heart of this watershed; the centre of a complex network of riparian and wetland sensitive ecosystems.
“The power of wetlands; acre for acre, no other ecosystem benefits people and wildlife more than wetlands.” Steve Adair/ Ducks Unlimited

Wetlands provide essential hydrological services at the landscape level when spatially distributed across a landscape. Wetlands collect, hold, purify fresh water at the surface and then slowly release it to recharge our groundwater aquifers.

Keeping more water on the land tops the list of nature-based solutions for building landscape resilience for climate change.
Cortes Island’s growing concerns around water aquifers under the climate lens of forecasts for drier, hotter summers, begs us to adopt the precautionary principle.
We know that Cortes Island’s only source of water is the rain that falls from the sky and we need to – keep that water on the land.

Wetlands offer excellent natural protection in the mitigation of wildfires.
Anvil Lake is rated moderate risk in the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP).
CFGP’s suggested removal of mistletoe infected hemlock in the primary riparian inflow to Anvil Lake to enhance fire mitigation, if deemed necessary, could be accomplished by walking in and adopting the standard, “chop & drop” protocols.

Wetlands and their associated riparian ecosystems boast high biological diversity.
The tally of provincially designated species and ecological communities at risk recorded in the Anvil Lake Watershed is impressive and comprehensive, spanning some 40 years of dedicated citizen science observations.

Anvil Lake is one of only a few lakes on the entire Cortes Island landscape that remain relatively unimpacted today and in strong, steady recovery following Cortes Island’s heyday of logging.
The ecological integrity of this recovering watershed, in Friends of Anvil Lake’s opinion, is worth more to Cortes Island than the benefits to be accrued through CFGP’s present planning for forest extraction and wildfire mitigation.

Trees are scheduled to start falling in 5 days on March 18th.
Please contribute your comments on CFGP’s immediate plans for the Anvil Lake Watershed by e-mailing:
Thank you.