Long-term plan needed for B.C.'s forests

Re: "Manage forests for the future," Oct. 17.

The editorial is spot-on in many respects.

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What it omits is that presentations to the Special Committee on Timber Supply did not support the unsustainable logging of old-growth reserve forests, of sensitive areas and of marginally economic forests at grossly elevated rates of cut.

In an implicit condemnation of the government's overcutting, Hampton

Affiliates Ltd., the owners of the Babine Forest Products sawmill at Burns Lake, pleaded with the committee to recommend to the legislature that the chief forester immediately halve the allowable annual cut in the Lakes timber supply area so as to sustain future timber supply.

Forest industry presentations to the committee appear to encourage government to allow the industry to rationalize its present capacity to the realities of timber supply and markets. This means that sustainable flows of timber need to determine the number of jobs; not the other way around as the editorial rightly points out.

Therefore, for government to pretend to solve the timber-supply crisis without a current, reliable inventory and with the same misguided policies of unsustainable logging that created it in the first place is nothing short of lunacy.

What is desperately needed now to avoid long-term pain is a government program of economic diversification and social support for those whose lives have been disrupted by a decade of reckless forest policies.

Anthony Britneff

Victoria

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