A logger examines trees during a fire abatement forest-clearing exercise near Woss in 2009.

Panel discusses future of North Island forestry

Forestry professionals were provided a draft copy of the Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities initiative recently.

PORT McNEILL—Forestry professionals and others interested in the health of forestry on North Vancouver Island were provided a draft copy of the Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities initiative during a meeting held here late in November.

The next eyes to see the report will belong to those empowered with forming policies that will direct forest management in B.C.

“It is out, it’s out to the political parties, and we’re encouraging them to considering it in developing their election platform for next May,” said Bill Bourgeois, provincial chair of Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities and author of the draft report.

The final strategic plan is expected to be completed early in 2013, in advance of the provincial election in May.

“The concept is to get each community’s input into the future of our forests, combine that with the opinions of experts, then put the result to the decision-makers.”

The meeting, held Nov. 22 at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall, came almost one year after local participants attended the initial Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities meeting at the hall.

Input gathered at last year’s meeting was pooled with contributions from communities across the province to form the basis for Bourgeois’s report.

The draft is broken into six key areas of consideration:

• A shift from short-term economics to long-term stewardship;

• Building sustainable forest management infrastructure;

• Increasing community diversification using land use practices, forest management inventories and economic support systems;

• Ensuring adequate resource inventories;

• Monitoring and assessment; and

• Ensuring a vibrant forest lands resource sector exists.

Bourgeois emphasized the initiative is not designed for the forest industry, but for forest management. The 10-year strategy in the final document will be built around an emphasis on sustainability and community benefit.

“The biggest thing that came out of the community sessions was the encouraging of community economic diversification; removing barriers to investment, and designing forest management to support those value-added business needs,” he said.

The meeting also included a presentation by Jennifer Barolet, who reviewed the issues discussed in last year’s community meeting.

Terry Basso, a log broker with Probyn Log Ltd., presented Diversification of Tree Species for Improved Market Accessibility, which highlighted the difficulty in making long-range market predictions and emphasized diversification of forest stocks.

Following the formal presentations, a question-and-answer session ranged across a wide spectrum of concerns and interests.

They included community forests and woodlots, silvaculture tenures, thinning of forests by removing juvenile trees, and the possibility of restoring a commercial-level sawmill on Vancouver Island.

“Why don’t we have a sawmill providing 90 or 100 jobs, instead of exporting all our logs?” asked Wilhelm Waldstein of Port Hardy.

Input into the strategic plan will continue to be accepted until the end of December at the Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities website, bcforestconversation.com.

Bourgeois encouraged those in attendance, and the rest of the community, to participate.

“I want to challenge the people here,” Bourgeois said. “You have to decide what you want from your forests. That’s up to your community to decide.

 

Just Posted

Survey says: Port Hardy Fire Rescue deserves on-call pay

75 per cent of those surveyed were in favour of financial compensation for the fire department.

VIDEO: Incredible waves spotted at Cape Scott

Lighthouse keeper captures video of huricane force winds

Tyson’s Thoughts: Make Port Hardy great again with a new multiplex in 2018

Population growth means there should be more recreational activities for community members to enjoy.

VIDEO: Stormy weather at Storey’s Beach

Envirnoment Canada has issued a wind warning for Coastal British Columbia

RDMW pens letter asking Pacific Coastal to reconsider cancellations

Board raises concerns over loss of flights to the region

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Kervin’s Corner: Our region’s communities heavily rely on the forestry sector — Let’s not change that for now

“Any transition out of our forest-based economy would take years along with careful planning…”

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Most Read