LETTER: Forestry balance can be found

‘All or none is not a viable solution’

Thanks to Mr. Glen Ridgway for his April common sense letter regarding significant revenue losses to our community due to what is referred to as a ‘forestry pause’ in North Cowichan.

I have been a career logger and perhaps contrary to what you may have seen or read in recent forest conflicts, I as most loggers do love trees.

I have made a living for 42 years from the time I graduated from Malaspina College with a diploma in forestry. Firefighting, Fire Hazard Abatement and logging have allowed me to provide a great living for my family and to support the various issues I am passionate about.

I have planted over 200 west coast red cedar and Douglas fir along our farm’s fish-bearing stream. The trees provide shade to the stream and even the ‘air-conditioning’ on hot summer days for our home. Trees do make a difference and it is thrilling to see them grow from a metre in a few years to more than seven metres today!

Forests are complex systems. So is the preservation, farming and management of them. I am most concerned when I read or see the lies being promoted, to justify various NGOs’ agendas.

Simply because there are significant consequences to any action we take or do not take, as an educated democracy we are called to base our decisions and actions on scientific facts and social needs.

Some months ago I was quoted in a B.C. publication about the substantial revenue loss to our community with this ‘forestry pause’. Critics got on social media and immediately attacked me and even my wife. A few months later the forestry dept budget shortfall was declared. Not a word was heard from these same critics.

Let’s not reinvent the wheel. Look at other countries in the world that do not have our financial strength and democracy. They do not have the means to protect their wildlife or forests. Yes we must have our schools, roads and hospitals. They come at a cost. I assert a healthy balance can be found, one in which our society and environment thrive. All or none is not a viable solution.

Siggi Kemmler

North Cowichan

Letter to the Editor

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