Subscription options:


Font Size:
forestry

MLA sends letter to PremierPosted: July 9, 2012

Letter to the Editor

The following is a copy of a letter sent June 26 to Premier Christy Clark from Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald.

Dear Premier Clark:

RE: Restocking British Columbia’s forest lands

With the release today of the Forest Practices Board report entitled How much of British Columbia’s forest is not satisfactorily restocked, and what should be done about it?, British Columbians are reminded once again about the importance of healthy forest lands to our province’s prosperity.

British Columbia is unique in that over 94% of the province is Crown Land, owned by its citizenry.  As a result, the public must rely on government to be a good steward of that public land.  55 million hectares of British Columbia is forest land, and the Minister of Forests is responsible for managing, protecting and conserving these forest lands not just for today, but for future generations.

The health of BC’s forests is under threat, not just from the Mountain Pine Beetle and wildfire, but from short-term or uninformed decision making by government.

Over the last 11 years, the BC Liberals have implemented a very deliberate forest policy and today forest-dependent communities are living with the effects.  40,000 forestry jobs have already been lost.

Legislative changes were made that eliminated government’s responsibility to restock forest lands damaged by fires, windstorm, disease or pests.  The government then cut the budget to the ministry of forests making it more and more difficult for forest professionals to monitor the health of the forests.  When forest professionals raised legitimate concerns about government actions, the forest minister of the day Pat Bell publicly ridiculed them.

And now, as has been laid out by the Forest Practices Board (FPB) report, the government has attempted to change the goal posts by redefining established outcome markers such as Not Satisfactorily Restocked (NSR).  Instead of taking meaningful action to ensure the forests for the future, two forest ministers have tried to fool the public with misleading numbers.

The FPB has been clear that the public has an expectation that government would act broadly to provide the best outcomes on the public land base, and would make informed decisions about how best to mitigate the effects of Mountain Pine Beetle on future timber supply.

The FPB is calling on government to develop good public policy that meets the expectations of the public to protect our most valuable public asset, and states its belief that action on this issue must be taken quickly.

I believe that British Columbia can once again have a forest industry that is a primary economic driver, but that will only happen if we make significant investments in our public lands.

I would urge your government to fully implement the recommendations outlined in the Forest Practices Board’s report.

Norm Macdonald MLA,

Columbia River – Revelstoke

 

Tags:
Author:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


More Stories

Brody Brandt

Dean Brody, Paul Brandt coming to Cranbook

> Read More
CVRCMPMarko

Columbia Valley RCMP Report

> Read More
Golden Bakerites

MBSS students golden at Provincial Skills Canada

> Read More
EKIPC field assistants are working at East Kootenay boat launches to promote the “Clean, Drain and Dry” message. They are also hosting weed pulls, and presenting in Provincial Parks, farmers’ markets and other events this summer to promote awareness of aquatic and terrestrial invasive species. See their Facebook page for upcoming events, or call Linda at 250-427-1666

EKIPC gets $194k to fight invasive plants

> Read More
C51 Cranbrook

People speak out against C-51

> Read More
COTR ResSolar

COTR’s residence going solar

> Read More
20mincleanup

Springtime Spruce Up Cranbrook

> Read More
EarthDay

Kids across Basin to celebrate Earth Day

> Read More