Letters: B.C. forests are doing just fine

Simply, the BC Liberal government is not interested in privatizing B.C.’s public forests.

Dear Editor:

It has been said that “truth has no fear and that untruth shivers at every shadow,” and based upon Norm Macdonald’s recent comments on privatizing B.C. forests, there is no question that he lurks in the shadows and is freezing cold if he expects us to believe his nonsense!

Simply, the BC Liberal government is not interested in privatizing B.C.’s public forests. All one has to do is a little research and they will find that government remains committed to managing our forests sustainably, now and into the future.

Macdonald as forestry critic knows that B.C. is recognized as a world leader of sustainable forest management — over 52 million hectares are certified to one of three internationally recognized sustainable forest management certification standards.

He knows that B.C. is also unique in having an independent Forest Practices Board specifically set up to monitor and audit forest practices and investigate complaints; and he knows that the Forest Practices Board also recommends areas for improvement, which government and forest licensees act on.

He knows that B.C. forests are not being overcut and that the Chief Forester independently sets maximum harvest limits for 72 distinct areas following a comprehensive timber supply review that considers social, economic and environmental values.

He knows that B.C. currently has over 180 active forestry agreements with First Nations and that, since 2003, B.C. has provided around $291 million and access to 61.9 million cubic metres of timber to First Nations.

He knows that as a result of your government’s efforts in Asia, specifically China, exports of B.C. lumber to China have increased over twelve fold from 2003 to present, and he knows that this increase has resulted in jobs for British Columbians!

He knows that your government is looking at the option of converting some volume-based forest licences to new or expanded area-based tree farm licences, and he knows that area-based tenures do not convey additional property rights to the tenure holder; he knows that all Crown land will remain Crown land.

So now Macdonald knows that we know that his continuous reporting of untruth will never go unnoticed! So shiver away in the shadows, Norm, as the rest of us move fearlessly into the bright and truthful future we, as British Columbians, deserve.

Doug Clovechok

Fairmont Hot Springs

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