Logging should be stopped in B.C.
I respect North Cowichan Coun. Rob Douglas’s push for revising provincial forestry management toward decentralizing the dysfunctional function into regional hands.
However, I fear vital input from First Nations and environmentalists would simply and wrongly fall through the cracks as it does now under many — but not all — of B.C.’s current forestry practices.
I do applaud North Cowichan council for seeking advice from the Cowichan Tribes elders concerning forestry as cultural places.
I also cheer council’s plans to gain public input about our Six Mountains, and want that process to start yesterday.
But to be clear, Victoria’s various governments have hideously mismanaged our precious forestlands for generations.
That’s glaringly evidenced by the criminal loss of our old growth — and its heinous continued logging — plus closure of job-producing, tax-generating value-added plants, including some in Cowichan.
Raw-log exports also continue, despite public demands against that senseless practice.
There’s no guarantee those shameful practices wouldn’t continue under regional management.
There are no laws requiring sustainably selective logging hence most, if not all, timber is clear-cut — including North Cowichan’s patch clear-cutting of our precious forest reserve.
If council’s arcane foot dragging and secrecy concerning promised public talks about our reserve’s future is any indication, regional forestry management would fare no better without public transparency and public — not council and consultants’ — decisions about forestry.
I assume Coun. Douglas’ proposed regional-forestry pilot project would not simply spell North Cowichan being the prime candidate.
That would just undermine council’s promised public talks about our reserve.
In fact, we could view management of North Cowichan’s community forest as that type of pilot project.
Frankly councillors, I believe all logging B.C. should be stopped — and I do appreciate those job and tax losses.
But extreme times mean extreme measures.
We need real, measurable green thinking in our new economy, not more greenwash.
Such a dramatic forestry halt would give eco-healing a chance before strict, selective logging could perhaps be done for maximum job- and tax-creation — plus preservation of ecological, tourist, recreational and cultural values.
If not, leave nature alone.
Peter W. Rusland
Duncan (North Cowichan)