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New Player in the Canadian Flathead

  New Player in Canadian Flathead - Jemi Fibre Timber Company purchases 10,000 acres in Canadian Flathead River valley in 2014.  Their logging plans could devastate water quality and the international bull trout fishery.

Jemi Fibre purchased in late 2014 one of the last remaining private land blocks in the Canadian Flathead River watershed.  The approximately 10,000 acres straddles portions of McLatchie and Foisey creeks, two of the most important bull and cutthroat trout spawning streams in the entire Flathead.  The purchase also includes a part of Lodgepole Creek (see map above), a tributary of the Kootenai River that flows into the U.S., one of the most productive and important bull trout rivers in North America.  

Jemi Fibre’s principal operator, Mike Jenks, has formed numerous logging companies on B.C.’s west coast and has a reputation for aggressive and unregulated clearcutting. Unlike Montana, B.C. has no laws or “best management practices” that apply to private land forestry.  McLatchie and Foisey creeks, and the Flathead River just downstream from these tributaries, provide some of the best bull trout spawning habitat in the entire Flathead River system (approximately 30-40 percent, according to Dr. Clint Muhlfeld, USGS).  Poor timber harvest practices could severely and adversely affect spawning for the entire watershed.
The Flathead River has over four decades of conservation history with citizens on both sides of the border ultimately succeeding in banning mining and energy extraction in the watershed.  

The key issues have always been water quality and the bull trout fishery.  The 1909 Boundary Water Treaty has provided the legal teeth to force both countries to protect the watershed.

The Jemi purchase and potential logging and associated watershed damage represents no less of a threat to these two international values.

See full article and notes here.