Wildsight blames province for damaged forests over the past 20 years

They say poor forest management practices are responsible

Although fires and beetles were a major factor in damaged forests, Wildsight says a lack of management played the leading role.

Wildsight is an organization dedicated to protecting lands and forests and says fires and pine beetles aren’t to blame for years of forest decay but it’s poor forest management by the B.C. government over the last 20 years.

Wildsight’sConservation Director John Bergenske says a prime issue is that the last B.C. government eliminated appurtenance, which required companies to operate mills and provide regional employment in order to harvest the province’s timber.

READ MORE: B.C. Liberals call for tax relief for struggling forest industry

“The previous provincial government also changed forestry legislation so that the Ministry of Forests no longer has to approve a company’s cutting plans, effectively turning oversight of BC’s forests over to industry, without a watchdog looking out for community interests or our environment,” said Bergenske

He says this left the harvesting of lands in the hands of a few major companies who processed hundreds of logging truckloads a day. “The goal is to supply cheap two-by-fours to a global market—and that means endless boom and bust cycles,” said Bergenske.

READ MORE: B.C. government to require permission to transfer forest cutting rights

He believes this is what caused sawmill shutdowns and closures in B.C.

Bergenske did shine a light on a positive step the B.C. legislature took in passing Bill 22, an amendment to the Forest Act, which allows the Minister of Forest, Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Development to step in to stop the sale of forest tenure (rights to log on provincial lands) that is not in the public interest.

READ MORE: Burned Falkland forest on the mend

After Canfor’s recent shutdown of their Vavenby mill, they have arranged a pending sale of their forest license in that area for $60 million dollars to Interfor, who plan to ship raw logs out of the region. “BC’s decision on this sale under Bill 22 will be the first big test of the government’s resolve to regain control of our communities’ forests,” said Bergenske.

At this time, both the Forests and Range Practices Act (FRPA) and the Private Managed Forest Land Program (PMFLP) are up for review and are currently in public comment periods until the end of mid-July.

READ MORE: Conservationists want protection on ‘Canada’s most magnificent’ old-growth forest

Visit engage.gov.bc.ca to give feedback on the state of forestry regulation across the province. Submissions are open until July 15 for the Forest and Range Practices Act, and until July 22 for the review of the Private Managed Forest Land Program.


@LarynGilmour
laryn.gilmour@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

Iconic rock photographer Bob Gruen to exhibit work in Kelowna

Gruen’s portfolio includes John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, among many others.

Kelowna car thief’s sentencing delayed

Stanley Nickason pleaded guilty car theft charges in B.C. Supreme Court

Alleged impaired driver flips car near Lake Country

The incident happened early Friday morning

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Survivorship Dragon Boat Team wins in Vernon

Team takes top spot in A division at festival

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

RDOS contributes funds to arts centre workshop

South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society wants input into proposed facility

World-famous sopranos to hold concert in Okanagan

Two Canadian sopranos are bringing their world-famous voices to the Okanagan for one night only

Summerland Fall Fair to include zucchini race

Event is in honour of bobsleigh athlete Justin Kripps

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Most Read