Meet Ben

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Meet Ben Parfitt. He's one of B.C.'s foremost experts on forestry issues and an award-winning crackerjack investigative reporter.

Ben's deep dive into forests began when he was the forestry reporter at the Vancouver Sun in the late '80s and early '90s. (Yes, it's true, the Vancouver Sun — which now doesn't have a single reporter dedicated to the environment beat — used to have a full-time forestry reporter!)

Over the years, Ben has broken many big stories like one a couple years ago about B.C.'s hundreds of unauthorized fracking dams. We're lucky to count Ben as a regular freelance contributor to The Narwhal.

His feature this week, Muddied waters: how clearcut logging is driving a water crisis in B.C.'s interior, zeroes in on an issue that's been vexing him for decades.

In the piece, he lays out how
community watersheds across British Columbia were once off-limits to logging, but in recent decades that’s all changed. Communities like Peachland, in the Okanagan, face escalating costs as mudslides trigger near-constant boil-water advisories and the need for pricey water-treatment plants to protect against pathogens.

"So many of these lands are publicly owned lands over which the communities that are most directly affected often have very little control over what happens," Ben says.

"The protections that Vancouver and Victoria enjoy in terms of their watershed lands are the exception to the rule."

Check out Ben's article and keep scrolling for more of what we've been up to this week!

Emma Gilchrist

Muddied waters: how clearcut logging is driving a water crisis in B.C.’s interior

By Ben Parfitt

Community watersheds across the province were once off-limits to logging, but in recent decades that’s all changed. Now communities like Peachland face escalating costs as mudslides trigger boil-water advisories and the need for pricey water-treatment plants. Read more.

An innovative Indigenous solution for smokeless smudging

By Jimmy Thomson

Misty Ireland responded to our smoke-free environments by inventing a Dene-made solution for smudging indoors — even in hospitals — but now she has to face another taboo: a culture that frowns upon selling traditional medicines. Watch the video.

The secretive role of SNC-Lavalin in the Site C dam

By Sarah Cox

Charges of fraud and corruption haven’t stopped SNC-Lavalin from reaping years of no-bid work and millions in public money for the Site C dam — a project that's already billions of dollars over budget. Read more.

‘Exhaustive’ oil lobby threatens to derail promised tanker ban on B.C.’s north coast

By Sarah Cox

A B.C. senator lashes out as the unelected Senate stalls a long-awaited bill to formalize a 34-year oil tanker moratorium. Time is running out for Parliament to pass Bill C-48, which Coastal First Nations say is essential to protecting their economy. Read more.

We have a winner! Thanks to everyone for taking part in our Jeremy Koreski surf print giveaway. Our lucky winner is Claudia, who signed up 16 new people for our newsletter! To all of our new subscribers: welcome! Become a Narwhal "Given Alberta's current smoke apocalypse, I've never been prouder to be a supporter of The Narwhal's independent, investigative environmental reporting." Gee thanks, Anelyse!

That's Anelyse on the right, joining our Alberta reporter Sharon J. Riley (middle) at the Digital Publishing Awards in Toronto, where her piece on the psychological impacts of wildfire smoke was up for an award. We're looking for more readers to join Anelyse so Sharon can keep working the Alberta beat like no other. Hat tip to John Packman for the snazzy snap.

Fishing licences and quota on the West Coast are murky business

By Jennifer Silver
With single licences being exchanged for up to six figures, a lack of transparency and regulations drives speculative investing and shady practices. Read more. The Narwhal in the world It's The Narwhal in The Walrus. Is that enough Arctice marine mammal for you? What we're reading Here's a great piece looking at the cost of urban sprawl from our friends over at The Sprawl, which was just recognized for "general excellence" at the Digital Publishing Awards. (We agree, The Sprawl is generally excellent.) Oh, hi! This funny farm needs some more friends — your friends, in fact. Share our newsletter sign-up link with your favourites? Donate Copyright © 2019 The Narwhal, All rights reserved.
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