This letter is in response to Randy Saugstad’s letter, Excessive logging affects ranchers, Tribune Viewpoints, Tuesday, May 10.
The Professional Employees Association is a union of professionals from across B.C. and we represent more than 500 professional foresters who work for the Government of British Columbia.
We at the Professional Employees Association do not take issue with Mr. Saugstad’s criticism of the Government of BC on its lack of commitment to sustainability. In fact, we believe that the government should be doing more to promote sustainable forestry practices.
We do, however, want to clarify that there are many professionals working within the forestry sector, and to paint “the professional” as the source of unsustainable logging practices is not a just statement.
Forest professionals play a critical role in the management of B.C. forests and to cite the forest professional as the author of a plan to get the wood to the mill the cheapest way possible is incorrect.
Professional foresters make sure that laws and statutes are upheld, they ensure logging plans have measurable and quantifiable objectives that meet the government policy on sustainability, and they engage in scientific research that is meant to guide the government in forming policy on sustainable practices.
Over the past 10 years, the B.C. government has slashed the budget of the Ministry of Forests, leaving fewer foresters to manage a critically important B.C. asset.
The Professional Employees Association continues to call on the B.C. government to restore funding to the Ministry of Forests to ensure that B.C. foresters can manage B.C. forests.