Letter to the Editor

Thieves strike dog race Some of you may have heard of a new dogsled race series — the Copper Haul Twister.

Thieves strike dog race

Some of you may have heard of a new dogsled race series — the Copper Haul Twister.

This race was dreamt up, organized and put on by a bunch of very dedicated and hard working volunteers.

Our aim was to put on a race series since many local races have fallen by the wayside. We hoped to bring the mushing community together by organizing this event and it was a resounding success.

We had sponsors jump on board last summer without knowing anything about the race, but believing that we could make it work.

For that we are very grateful! Without them we could not have made this race work.

We had a record number of participants out in January when we saw almost 40 teams compete.

However, this positive outcome has been somewhat soured by some local vandals out on the Copper Haul Road.

We had a big bonfire-pit drum that we used to keep our hardy volunteers warm at the race start.

It was much appreciated on those ultra-cold days when the wind was blowing.

For whatever reason, someone felt the need to steal this one day after a race.

This is not a huge deal, as we can probably find another drum to make a bonfire out of.

What is much more concerning to us is that the Yukon Brewing banner that we put up over the start line was blatantly ripped off the day of the last race on March 31.

We were all so busy finishing up the race and presenting at the awards ceremony that we didn’t get the banner down immediately after the race.

Race organizers went out later to find the banner missing and the ropes holding it purposely cut.

I have one question for the thieves — what exactly are you planning on doing with a huge Yukon Brewing banner?

We also want these vandals to know that the race organization now has to find the money to replace the banner for Yukon Brewing — which understandably needs a replacement.

The company was kind enough to support the race as the league sponsor for the whole season.

This major sponsorship allowed us to put on the race, groom the trails, award prizes to every class and to the volunteers as well, and much, much more.

All we want is the banner back, or information on who has it.

If anyone sees a gigantic Yukon Brewing banner in the wrong hands, I urge you to contact us at copperhaultwister@yahoo.ca or call 667-4502.

Thanks again to all our sponsors: Yukon Brewing, Oscar’s Electric Co. Ltd., H. Coyne & Sons, Alpine Veterinary Medical Centre Ltd., Sportees Active Wear, Duffy’s Pets & Tanzilla Harness Supply, and Icy Waters Ltd.

Stacie Zaychuk

Whitehorse

Combustible logging

I am a logger. I live and operate my business in the Haines Junction area.

I have been select logging in the beetle kill pretty much since the infestation was recognized.

The forest is where I live, what I do and who I am. I harvest beetle-killed spruce because that is what we have and it is about all that sells.

At the present time, there is not much of a market for green spruce. Wood from my logging heats Yukon homes and businesses.

Some select logs are milled and sold for building materials in the Yukon and Alaska.

I feel pretty good about this.

I have been involved with forest management in our area since the inception of a forest-management planning team.

I was a secretary for the Alsek Renewable Resource Council in the middle ‘90s, at the time of the Spruce Beetle Advisory Committee and I have just finished a term as a member and co-chair of the council.

I am a volunteer firefighter in Haines Junction. I have worked as a contractor on a number of wildland fires. I don’t claim to being an ‘expert’ about spruce beetles, logging and fire, but I think I can say that I am experienced.

After reading “Beetle infestation spooks slash-happy government” in the April 2 News, I felt I had to write.

In the story and in Dieter Gade’s ‘awareness’ flier I find a number of confusing statements and stated ‘realities.’

These statements of reality are rivaled by only by government’s position.

Neither ‘reality’ is real!

Arguments about the fire danger of green trees vs. dry beetle-killed trees are ridiculous.

Ed Berg from the Kenai is quoted as saying that green trees burn as well as dry, but Rod Garbutt says that dry trees ignite under less favourable conditions.

Anybody who has lit a campfire or woodstove knows that dry wood lights more easily than green, so what is this discussion about?

In 1998, I saw a fire near Macintosh, in the beetle kill, that rewrote the books on fire behaviour.

In 1999, I saw a fire that started at the Destruction Bay dump in green spruce, that also burned lumber, siding and log walls when it got to Burwash.

That was a sad experience that I would rather not repeat. Both fuel loads will burn in the right conditions, and in the Haines Junction area we have both!

However, neither will burn if it isn’t ignited.

It is obvious that action has to be taken in and around communities to reduce the amount of forest fuel.

Thinning, spacing and removing spruce stands and promoting the growth of less flammable species has to be done, to reduce the chance of ignition and give firefighters a chance if something does happen.

This action should involve some logging techniques and some Firesmart-type of techniques.

It would seem to be simple common sense. 

In the so-called wildland areas some logging, maybe some controlled burning and some untreated areas would make sense.

A forest industry requires a simple element to exist: economics.

Fire is a part of the forest ecology and it has been disrupted, with good intentions, over the past 50 years or so, leading to where we are today.

There was fire here before that influenced the forest. There have been significant beetle infestations that influenced the forest and fire. The evidence is out there to be seen.

A lot of peoples’ time and governments’ money has gone into forest-management planning for this area.

Some good work has been done. I would hate to think that it was all done to achieve a predetermined dream of a million cubic metres.

I also hate to see it trashed with a confection of manipulated statements from scientists and specialists, that veil anti-logging evangelism with spruce beetle ‘realities.’

Rob Moore

Haines Junction