Re. your guest column’s (online) subtitle: ‘Industry, Union Leaders Seek Balance on Old-Growth Preservation’.
The article, written by representatives of the forest industry is full of fine words, sentiments and platitudes; and calls for more talking. And while talking goes on, logging continues. Government, industry and unions have managed to talk their way through the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA), the Private Managed Forest Lands Act (PMFLA) and the Old-Growth Strategic Review. There has been “input from a wide range of people and organizations,” and the Old-Growth Advisory Panel has made recommendations the government promised to implement. But instead of action, what do we get? The industry and union recommend more talking, the government falls in line and old-growth continues to fall. If they can keep it up for three more years, they will have succeeded. All the valuable big-treed old-growth forest will have been logged and there will be nothing left to worry about. Problem solved. Except the inconvenient truth of climate change and biodiversity loss will be further advanced while industry moves on to less profitable smaller old-growth and second-growth in any case. But let the kids worry about that.
Yes, transitioning forestry to a sustainable model will take time and more talk. But while talking continues, we need an immediate moratorium on logging the last of the valuable big-treed old-growth forest in B.C. And, if the sector is to find a “positive path forward” with “benefits for all British Columbians” then those benefits must include cultural, spiritual, climate change, biodiversity, salmon preservation and watershed protection values, not just timber value.