The effort is appreciated

MLA Bob Simpson, in his column, reflects on the Special Committee on Timber Supply hearings in the region.

The Special Committee on Timber Supply completed its visit to the Cariboo-Chilcotin last week, holding public meetings in 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Quesnel, and taking a day-long tour of the Quesnel Timber Supply Area (TSA) for committee members.

I want to personally thank all those who took the time to attend the committee hearings, particularly those who made formal presentations. The turnout was good (standing room only in Williams Lake), with many professional foresters sitting in on the proceedings. The Association of BC Forest Professionals did a very good job promoting the hearings and getting their members to attend.

By all accounts the Quesnel Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) District staff put together a comprehensive and very meaningful tour of the Quesnel TSA, which helped the MLAs on the Committee get a real sense of the extent of the salvage logging in this TSA as well as how the forest is greening up post-salvage. In the weeks leading up to the committee hearings FLNRO staff in both Quesnel and Williams Lake burned the midnight oil preparing for the committee’s visit, and I appreciate their efforts to make sure the Committee had access to accurate information about the public forest land base in our region.

I also want to thank the MLAs on the committee, senior staff from FLNRO, and staff from Hansard and the Clerk’s Office who have travelled throughout the Interior over the last two months to visit the communities most affected by the mountain pine beetle.

The aggressive agenda of the committee meant all of these people had to spend weeks on the road away from their families and, in the case of the MLAs, their constituencies.

I will be making a formal written submission to the committee (July 20 is the deadline for written submissions), and I’ll present the highlights of that submission in my musing next week and post the full submission on my webpage.

Bob Simpson is the Independent MLA for Cariboo North.

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