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What would constitute a “smart future” for BC forests?

Fred Marshall

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In 2019, the Council of Forest Industries published a paper titled: “Smart Future: A Path Forward for BC’s Forest Products Industry”

The gist of this paper is captured in the following quotes which exemplify the intent of its several proposals. My comments are in italics.

COFI wants the government to:

1. Define the working forest land base. Like conservation areas, designate the area that will be available for harvesting and lock in the commitment. (Lock in the THLB.)

2. Implement a “no-net-loss policy” to provide certainty in the long term. Undertake a review every 5 years. (Keep it locked in with no reductions.)

3. Ensure policies and processes allow for timely and consistent access to the working forest land base. (Ditto. This mantra is repeated a third time to make sure everyone was clear on what the forest industry wanted and continues to want.)

4. Transition a portion of the existing forest licenses from volume-based to area-based to encourage further investment by companies in intensive forest management. (Give us more TFLs so we have more control over these areas and can then better manage (exploit) them.)

5. Convene an expert working group including government, industry, and academic experts to develop innovative and flexible approaches to climate-affected forests to ensure a more stable, fire-resilient and sustainable timber supply. (The Chief Forester’s Leadership Team was created to fulfill this role and has achieved remarkable success in doing so—except for the sustainable part!)

A copy of this paper is attached as is a copy of my comments made shortly after it was released. Many people in BC had then, and still have, a much different vision of what actually constitutes a “Smart Future” for BC’s forests.






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