In reference to the debate on forestry inventory between MLA Bob Simpson and Minister of Forests Steve Thompson, April 30:
I applaud MLA Simpson’s efforts to nail down a time frame on when public consultations will take place for affected forestry areas. However, the minister skirted around this issue a great deal before finally saying that Pat Bell’s earlier response of “within a couple of months” wasn’t right, and that it “needs to be sooner if possible.”
You mean to say that — by Thompson’s own admission — community consultations need to start in six weeks or less, but there is no strategy announced yet? That doesn’t even make any logistic sense, and certainly indicates a complete inability, or perhaps unwillingness, to organize and mobilize on this critical issue.
The truth is, it is already too late for many communities. Around Alexis Creek and Kleene Kleene, for example, go beyond the little corridor they’ve left to screen eyes on the road and you will have to drive a long way to find enough trees left standing to fill one logging truck. I’m sure those communities will really appreciate it when the government finally gets around to holding a public consultation to hear their concerns on deforestation.
The West Chilcotin is on the chopping block. Ribbons have been placed and logging companies will be clearing out our green forest a great deal faster than government can make a decision. I believe they used to call that “closing the barn door after the horse is gone” — I wish it was only a horse we’ll be losing.