Keeping our forests public and sustainable is the focus of a forum coming up in Williams Lake next week.
Anthony Britneff, a retired Registered Professional Forester and policy analyst, and Vicky Husband, a noted conservationist, will be guest speakers at the April 14 meeting which is sponsored by the Council of Canadians, Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society, Williams Lake Field Naturalists, Stand Up For the North (SUFN), and local forestry workers represented by the United Steelworkers Local 425.
“The provincial government is seeking public input on possible changes to the way forest companies harvest timber on Crown land so the United Steelworkers are working with these other groups so that everyone understands both sides of the issue,” says Local 425 president Paul French.
Forestry has been a mainstay of the B.C. economy for more than a century and the forum organizers believe it can continue to do so.
Residents are invited to participate in the meeting to have their say on how to move forestry forward in the province. The forum will be held at the Central Cariboo Arts Centre on Monday, April 14, starting at 7 p.m.
Unlike mining or LNG, forestry is a renewable resource, organizers say.
The forum will focus on the need for a forest tenure and licensing system that works for all sectors of the forest industry and all British Columbians, and the need to bring our forests back to health and sustainability.
Britneff and Husband are well versed in forestry issues and bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the forum.
Britneff has had a 40-year career with the BC Forest Service in most areas of the province, holding senior professional positions in forest inventory, strategic planning, silviculture, and forest health.
Husband has worked on forest protection and management issues in B.C. for more than 30 years, including land use planning, wildlife and fishery issues, and the creation of protected areas.
She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Order of Canada and the Order of BC.
The two will be speaking at forums organized by SFUN in Prince George and Mackenzie before coming to Williams Lake. SUFN is a grass roots organization based in Prince George, made up of volunteers from the business, labour, First Nations, education and community sectors.
Author and columnist Peter Ewart will represent the group at Monday’s meeting.