British Columbia has wrongfully endured over a decade of serious forest mismanagement. Early in the last decade the B.C. government enshrined in law forestry policies that have virtually handed over the management of our public forests to the timber corporations. As well, government staffing was reduced to the point that there is nearly no one left to enforce what few rules remain. The recent report by B.C.’s Auditor General reinforced these concerns about forest mismanagement. The report concluded that the ministry has not clearly defined its timber objectives, management practices are insufficient to offset a reduction in timber supply and species diversity, and the ministry is not appropriately monitoring and reporting results in relation to its objectives.
Despite all of these problems, I have consistently voiced there has been at least one saving grace regarding forest management in this province and that was the government’s dedication to maintaining the land use plans that were developed after many years of studies and intense negotiations. Now, your committee is considering reneging on your commitment to these plans in order to allow logging of areas set aside for conservation and recreation. This would be akin to burning the furniture when the firewood runs out.
Read the rest of the presentation at the Shuswap Environmental Action Society website