UBC Graduate Research

Forest harvesting and water quality : a case study of the China Creek Community Watershed Bell, Patrick J.

Abstract

The China Creek Community Watershed (CCCW) provides drinking water to 20,000 residents in Port Alberni, Beaver Creek, and the Hupacasath Ahahswinis and Tseshaht Tsahaheh reserves. The primary water source is China Creek, with Bainbridge Lake serving as a backup source. There is concern amongst elected officials, city staff, environmental organizations, and local community members that logging and roads within the CCCW are negatively impacting water quality (Figure 1.1). Major forestry companies privately own ninety-three percent of the CCCW, with Island Timberlands controlling the majority of the watershed. While the private logging companies have been criticized for logging the watershed, they maintain that their forestry operations abide by all applicable regulations and they insist that source water protection is considered at all times. These companies have explained that there are misconceptions in the community relating to the impacts of logging on water quality.

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