President-elect Joe Biden, joined by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, speaks at The Queen theater, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President-elect Joe Biden, joined by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, speaks at The Queen theater, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

FOREST INK: Getting the right information

The recent counting of votes in the U.S. has overshadowed a similar process taking place in B.C.

The recent counting of votes in the U.S. has overshadowed a similar process taking place in B.C.

While there was not much of a change here compared to our southern neighbours it did confirm that we have a majority government under the NDP. New majorities bring expectations of changes to be made. A recent Logging and Sawmilling article by Jim Stirling describes the restlessness of B.C. forest communities for changes that will bring more stability to their communities.

Stirling describes the tension between forest companies attempts to remain competitive and the social responsibility for the communities from which the resource is coming. While Mackenzie was mentioned specifically many other cities could relate to the description of the issues they have been experiencing. “They’ve lost jobs and futures as the town’s three major forest industry employers have been alternatively shut down, experienced lengthy closures and been subjected to unrelenting uncertainty. Reasons for the extended misery include shortages of suitable commodity lumber wood sources, erratic markets, high production costs and political interference.”

The author later describes the politics as when the previous Liberal provincial government changed the rules to allow licences to process wood originating from their assigned cutting areas in sawmills most advantageous to them. Canfor and other forest companies are simply exercising that right and they would be reluctant to relinquish that flexibility.

Stirling suggests a couple of approaches for the new majority government. Instruct senior forest ministry staff to re-examine parts of the B.C. tenure system to better address the social contract issues may well as reinforce the forest industry’s competitive foundation to settle on the size of our working forest and lock it in as proposed by the B.C. Council of Forest Industries (COFI).

READ MORE: Old growth forests under new management

While I support some of these suggestions there will need to be some flexibility of movement of forest fibre especially some smaller volumes associated with deciduous trees going to specialty mills and small log sizes and residual material to OSB, pulp mills and bio energy plants.

In my opinion the government could also work on long term plans like infrastructure of industrial level hydro, improved roads and possibly rail to some isolated communities like the Chilcotin. As an example , what is the latest status of the road connecting Anahim Lake to Vanderhoof.

While politics is still fresh in our minds, I have been thinking of how do we educate the voters to see through some of the campaign promises that often lead to situations like the one described above .

The dropping of the processing clause may not have been an election promise but I do recall some recent promises to reduce stumpage as a way to encourage the forest industry and this was at a time when the lumber prices were the highest on record.

Unfortunately getting reliable information may get worse before it gets better which is being made worse with the increasing gap between the rich and poor , the exposure of fake news along with an ever expanding number of information sources. .

While some of the U.S. election issues are unique to them we would be advised to at least become familiar with the potential of fake news and conspiracy theories as described in a Jeff Orlowski film “The Social Dilemma.”

Closer to home author Ron Deibert, (professor of political science and director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto), explains how social media and big tech companies may be undermining democracy in his new book called Reset: Reclaiming the Internet for Civil Society.

Jim Hilton is a professional agrologist and forester who has lived and worked in the Cariboo Chilcotin for the past 40 years. Now retired, Hilton still volunteers his skills with local community forests organizations.


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Caribooforestry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maggie Ferguson continues to deliver pet food to communities in B.C’s Central Interior and North. She hopes to make things easier by eventually purchasing a truck and trailer through fundraising efforts. (Perfect Pastures Animal Sanctuary Facebook photo)
From Delta with love, Maggie Ferguson helps northern pet owners with food

Animal sanctuary owner leads efforts in delivering thousands of pounds of pet food

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Williams Lake RCMP are investigating after suspects assaulted two employees at a convenience store and fled with cash and merchandise. (Black Press file photo)
Williams Lake RCMP investigating robbery at local convenience store

The robbery occurred Saturday evening, Feb. 27

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

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

A student from Dawson Creek is the winner of Tolko’s Orange Shirt Day design contest for 2021. (Tolko photo)
Tolko contest features northern winner

Student from Dawson Creek beats out entries Canadawide for Orange Shirt Day design contest win

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility’s COVID-10 outbreak has been declared over by Interior Health. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID outbreak at Vernon’s Noric House declared over

10 deaths were linked to the outbreak at long-term care facility

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Most Read