Cariboo-Chilcotin candidates weigh in on forest industry

Here are the second set of questions the Tribune asked election candidates.

  • May. 1, 2013 7:00 p.m.

The second set of questions the Tribune asked the candidates running in the provincial election is about their stance on Forestry as follows:

How would your government protect and enhance forests in B.C. for future generations, while maintaining and creating new forest industry jobs?

What is your position on raw log exports?

Answers are as follows:

MLA Donna Barnett, Liberal Party (incumbent), Cariboo Chilcotin

The Select Standing Committee on Timber which was an all-party committee toured the province and listened to the public.

In August 2012 the committee completed their deliberations.

The committee’s report set out recommended actions to mitigate the impact of the Mountain Pine Beetle on mid-term timber supply. Local activities are now being developed based on the committee’s recommendations.

The Cariboo region is responding to mid-term timber supply as a core operational priority. During the spring of 2013 the Cariboo Region will complete Type IV silviculture strategies in each of the regions three timber supply areas.

The strategies identify opportunities to invest in incremental silviculture treatments to enhance timber production and wood quality.

The Cariboo region is currently preparing an information package (which may now be completed) that is intended to support the deliberations of natural resource stakeholders, First Nations and communities as these groups determine what, if any request, they may wish to submit to government.

For information packages contact local FLNR offices.

Raw log exports

Our preference is to have logs milled here at home. The reality is that much of the log exports are derived from private land and isolated communities on the coast of British Columbia.

These exports are what provide the jobs to support the families of these British Columbians.’

We are committed to ensuring an approach that meets the needs of both domestic mills and the economy in this province.

Charlie Wyse, New Democratic Party, Cariboo-Chilcotin

A New Democrat government will reverse more than a decade of Liberal neglect by doubling the number of seedlings planted on Crown land.

Unlike the Liberals, who have continually eroded our scientific, expert capacity to make informed decisions about the land base, New Democrats will research capacity of the Ministry of Forests so that we can maximize the potential of our forests.

Raw Log exports

New Democrats want to maximize the number of BC jobs created with BC logs, which is why we will work with the industry to shift away from raw log exports and toward opening new markets for value-added B.C. wood products.

Dustin Price, BC Green Party, Cariboo-Chilcotin

The BC Green Party Forestry Action Plan focuses on creating a full inventory of our forest situation while taking a scientific approach to maintaining the health of our forests.

A sustainable harvest, while encouraging value-added opportunities, will create more jobs while maintaining sustainability practices.

Raw log exports

The focus on raw log exports is a short sited approach. This is a net negative effect that could be remedied with the processing of raw logs locally, while creating a sustainable and diverse value-added economy in the region.

A BC Green MLA and government would work to incentivize mills to upgrade their current systems to be able to process second growth forests, thus creating a stable local forestry economy.

Processing, jobs, and money need to stay in the Cariboo-Chilcotin. Why would we send raw logs and the rich processing system that accompanies it to foreign countries?

How does that benefit us when we sell our precious resources for pennies on the dollar?

Gary Young, Independent, Cariboo-Chilcotin

Protecting forests in B.C. involves the government not giving control to the big logging concerns.

When we need more protection for reserve areas the government cuts staffing and no monitoring is done.

Raw log exports

Creating new forestry jobs is difficult with a declining resource unless it is value added sectors when we stop exporting raw logs.

Small high-tech mills and processors could be located closer to timber supplies as on north Vancouver Island.   The jobs needed are in accelerated planting and seedling growers.

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