Forest minister hears concerns

Steve Thomson, B.C. Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, visited the Cariboo-Chilcotin last week.

Predator management, timber supply, and human-caused fires were some of the discussions local stakeholders had with Steve Thomson, B.C. Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations when he visited the Cariboo-Chilcotin last week.

Accompanied by Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett, Thomson met with representatives of Williams Lake City Council, Cariboo Regional District, West Fraser, Tolko and local union representatives. He traveled to Redstone to meet with ranchers, and was also meeting with stakeholders in Lac La Hache and 100 Mile House.

Thomson said the top topics have been current drought conditions, predator management, wildfires, fishing and fibre supply in the forest industry.

“It’s very important for us to get out in the communities and engage with them directly,” Thomson said. “Looking at maps and reading reports is fine, but this is the best way to stay connected.”

He added that another goal is to continue working with industry, communities and First Nations to mitigate the impact of the pine beetle infestation.

“A major focus right now is policy to get full use of fibre. We’re still leaving too much in the bush,” he explained. “We expect the Forest Fibre Report to be out early September.

“We’re also working through ongoing partnerships and relationships with First Nation in terms of the certainty of land base for all operations.”

Rancher issues with predators are also a main concern.

“We have taken some steps to help with predator control, such as adjusted bag limits and seasons around wolves and we have a compensation program in place but we know that’s not the way to approach it,” Thomson said. “Compensation is short-term and it doesn’t cover losses: we need to look at other tools.”

He said that the top issue now is forest fires. “Our B.C. wildfire fighters have faced tremendous challenges and we owe them a big thank you,” Thomson said.

“We want to reduce the number of human-caused fires. Natural causes are bad enough, but 30 to 40 per cent of our fires are cause by people. We’re looking at current recommendations for increasing fines for human-caused fires.”

Another concern is the landslide issue at Pioneer Ridge; MLA Donna Barnett said that she is currently in meetings on the topic.

Thomson said he is aware of the problem. “We waiting for more information and more local assessment,” Thomson said.

Just Posted

Michelle Jacobs receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 28, 2021. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
126 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

There are 22 individuals hospitalized due to the virus, and 13 in intensive care

A Cariboo Regional District director and School District 27 trustee, Angie Delainey is also a fourth generation business owner in downtown Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Angie Delainey appointed Cariboo Regional District representative on regional board

Delainey and Steve Forseth represent the CRD at the North Central Local Government Association

Pauline Schmutz, 75, receives her COVID-19 vaccine from public health nurse Donna McKenzie on Tuesday, April 13 at the community clinic at Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake campus. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Additional COVID-19 vaccine clinics scheduled for Horsefly, Big Lake

Anyone 18 and over who has not received a vaccine yet is encouraged to register

The Cariboo Regional District. (Angie Mindus photo)
Industrial park slated for Watch Lake Road

Building company Omnitek to start building new plant on 32-acre site

Kokanee Bay Fishing Resort on Puntzi Lake has been purchased by Tsideldel First Nation. (Kokanee Bay Fishing Resort photo)
Tsideldel First Nation buys Kokanee Bay Fishing Resort at Puntzi Lake

“It’s a good opportunity for the band, our children and our future,” said Chief Otis Guichon

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Most Read