Plan coming

MLA Donna Barnett, in her column, talks about the timber supply report released last week.

I’m sure most readers are well aware that B.C.’s central Interior has been hit very hard by the mountain pine beetle epidemic.

Over the past 13 years, the outbreak has affected about  18.1 million hectares of B.C. forests. This has created a great number of challenges for the forest industry, with many unanswered questions still lingering.

On May 16, B.C.’s Legislative Assembly appointed the Special Committee on Timber Supply to examine and make recommendations to address the mid-term timber supply loss in the central interior. MLA John Rustad chaired the committee and I, too, had the pleasure of being a member, along with a number of MLAs. We toured 15 different stops in the central Interior, holding public hearings to get feedback on this critical issue from residents, First Nations, stakeholders and local government.

Last week, Rustad released the committee’s report, Growing Fibre, Growing Value. The report outlines 22 recommendations to increase the supply and value of mid-term timber and to strengthen future forest management in B.C. The report’s recommendations focus on engaging local communities and First Nations in future plans; finding ways to grow more fibre and maximize its value by utilizing marginally economic stands and/or investing in fertilization; and increasing the type and form of area-based tenures to support enhanced levels of forest stewardship and private sector forest investment. By the end of September, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations will present an action plan to deal with those recommendations already not addressed by the ministry. This is a critical issue for residents and families in the Cariboo-Chilcotin. Forestry has become an integral part of life for us. In 2011, our forest sector employed 53,000 people — and that’s a number that’s expected to grow. With evolving forest practices and technological advances within the sector continuing to change the game, we know B.C.’s forests have a future as a vital part of our economy. With skill and educational requirements increasing for forestry workers, we also know there will be new well-paying career options for young British Columbians. It just takes a little bit of foresight, a little bit of planning, and a lot of listening to make sure we excel in forest management practices and keep B.C. forestry jobs for B.C. families.

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.

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

Just Posted

International Women’s Day is March 8. (
International Women’s Day 2021: #choosetochallenge

International Women’s Day is marked annually on March 8

Businesses in Williams Lake are invited to participate in a new sticker program that will help make their venues more accessible. (Williams Lake Accessibility Advisory Committee image)
‘Come On In’: New program aims to make Williams Lake businesses more accessible

Williams Lake Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) is leading the project

Celebrate women in leadership, March 8, International Women’s Day 2021 (Unsplash)
EDITORIAL: International Women’s Day 2021 shines spotlight on achievements, ongoing inequities

COVID-19 increased gender-based violence, economic stress, the burden of care giving for women

Amarjit Khakh of Williams Lake. (Photo submitted)

Kindness and giving, key to full life

Sierra William (left) with her grandmother Eileen William. (Roger William photo)

Xeni Gwet’in woman finds strength in tradition

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a personal support worker at the Ottawa Hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 in Ottawa. Doctors in Alberta have signed an open letter asking for prioritized vaccination of health-care staff who work directly with patients on dedicated COVID-19 units. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID vaccines for seniors in B.C.: Here’s how to sign up

Seniors 90+, Indigenous seniors 65+ and Indigenous Elders can book starting March 8

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 health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Vaccine hesitancy decreases in B.C. as mass immunizations set to begin: poll

Two-thirds of British Columbians, and Canadians, would get the vaccine as soon as possible

Software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, has been forced to re-skill during the COVID-19 pandemic after more than six years of unsuccessfully applying for jobs in B.C.’s tech industry. (Submitted photo/Shaimma Yehia)
Why skilled immigrant women continue to be shut out of B.C.’s booming tech sector

Experienced software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, hasn’t found a job since she migrated to Canada 6 years ago

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover digging in with B.C.-made part

Kennametal’s Langford plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

A woman walks through Toronto’s financial district on Monday, July 30, 2018. A new poll suggests most Canadians believe there’s still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in this country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Canadians, especially women, say gender equality not achieved in Canada: Poll

Poll results themselves underscore the challenge, with more men believing equality had been achieved

This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, left, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey. (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via AP)
Race, title and anguish: Meghan and Harry explain royal rift

Meghan said she struggled with concerns within the royal family about her son’s skin colour

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Most Read