Future of forestry bright beyond 2050

PORT McNEILL — North Island residents and professional foresters remain optimistic about the future of forestry, even while recognizing that changes will buffet the industry in the coming decades.

PORT McNEILL — North Island residents and professional foresters remain optimistic about the future of forestry, even while recognizing that changes will buffet the industry in the coming decades.

That view emerged from the Dialogue on Healthy Forests and Healthy Communities, hosted by the Ministry of Forests in September. It was held as part of the provincial Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities Initiative, designed to provide input to policy makers by providing them with information and expert opinion.

The dialogue, held Sept. 15 at the Legion Hall, asked North Islanders for visions of forestry in the region in the year 2050.

Andrew Ashford, manager of the Ministry of Forests local office and one of three panelists, gave a presentation on climate change and projections of changes that are already under way in B.C. forests. Ashford noted the makeup of B.C. forests have been changing for several years and will continue to do so as species adapt to changing temperature and sea levels.

From 1895 to 1995, he pointed out, B.C. experienced a mean temperature gain ranging from 0.5c in the Queen Charlotte Islands to 1.7c in the Northern Boreal Forest. In just the next 40 years, he said, experts predict a rise of between 1c and 6c for the province, with the figure likely to end up at +2c if there are not changes to current trends.

“We can expect  ecosystem change and ecosystem disruption,” Ashford said, painting a picture of reduced growth and survival rate of trees due to stress and susceptibility to disease and pests such as the mountain pine bark beetle.

He said one solution for forest managers will be to put the best possible tree in each habitat, which could even involve bringing in seeds from forests far to the south, such as in Oregon.

Phil Wainwright, with more than 30 years as a Registered Professional Forester, gave a presentation on forest tenures and inventories.

He suggested area-based tenures, including woodlots, will provide the best opportunity for forestry to evolve and provide stability and sustain area communities to 2050 and beyond.

The third panelist was Regional District of Mount Waddington administrator Greg Fletcher, who addressed the continuity of forestry relative to the provision of services by local government.

Fletcher discussed how critical forestry is to providing services to North Islanders both through its share of the local tax base and through its quality of life contributions, such as logging roads providing public access to fishing, camping and hiking areas.

He envisioned a 2050 in which forestry companies become more involved on the North Island, ensuring resources and labour will continue to be available, wood waste fibre is used to produce fuel, and resident employees fully involved in the community replace imported workers. A vigorous discussion followed as the public was invited to provide input following these presentations. A summary of the discussion will be published and will be available to view at bcforestconversation.com.

 

 

Just Posted

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: The last walk together

“I would give almost anything to be able to have another walk together”

North Island College holding information session on new culinary diploma

Get a sneak peek at the new culinary kitchen at the Campbell River campus

Council approves replacement of overhead heaters at Fire Hall

Port Hardy council has agreed to spend $11,000 on the replacement of… Continue reading

North Island Eagles minor rep hockey organization hand out year-end awards in Port McNeill

It was quite the season and then some for minor rep hockey here in the North Island.

North Island resident to campaign on climate, economy for Liberal Party seat in Ottawa

Peter Schwarzhoff joins race for the second time in North Island-Powell River riding

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses review around ferry workers’ right to strike

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union collective agreement expires November 2020

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

LETTER: Good hearted samaritans do exist

A lost wallet at a farmer’s market was returned to its rightful owner.

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Most Read