Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for the week of September 12th

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Community forest scrutiny a good thing

Jonathan Lok's spin on the forestry sector is the standard drivel that British Columbians have come to expect from industry (Pique, Sustainable Wood, Aug. 29). He is the president of the Society of Consulting Foresters after all.

Whistler residents should be applauded for scrutinizing how their community forest is managed. They, like many British Columbians, know that B.C. forests continue to be managed in an unsustainable and primitive manner. Ninety-six per cent of logging in B.C. today is still done by clearcutting, and the allowable annual cut has been drastically increased in recent years to facilitate "salvage" logging of trees killed by pine beetle.

In B.C. the logging of old-growth trees continues: 20 years after the battle of the woods in Clayoquot Sound, old-growth trees in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve are at risk of being logged. The BC Liberals have made it easy for their buddies, the Independent Power Producers (IPPs), to log old-growth trees. These trees are generally protected under the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) and the Riparian Areas Regulation (RAP). IPPs, however, are considered "minor tenures" under the FRPA and therefore can log in Old-Growth Management Areas. The RAP does not apply to IPPs so the latter can log old-growth trees, including along stream banks.  

Under successive BC Liberal governments, the export of raw logs to foreign mills has tripled, and the government has also allowed timber companies to sell off prime forest land for real estate development. Sustainable?

The 2012 auditor general's audit of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations' management of timber highlights that there are fewer trees and less diversity due in part to inadequate replanting, including by the government (http://www.bcauditor.com/pubs/2012/report11/timber-management). Sustainable?

So we need more British Columbians to scrutinize this unsustainable industry and more community forests.

If you need to buy some wood, please do not buy wood "eco-certified" by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), which is just more industry spin to cover up unsustainable practices, including clearcuts, logging of old growth forests, heavy use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, etc.

Go with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood instead (https://ic.fsc.org/).

Louise Taylor

Pemberton

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