In the article “BCTS urged to spare old-growth forest” (Coast Reporter, July 26), Garry Nohr, chair of the Sunshine Coast Regional District, was quoted as saying: “I feel [BCTS is] listening and they’re trying to work with us, and to make it work we have to work with them too. We just can’t say put a moratorium on all logging.”
That’s exactly true. We have to work together. And the goal can’t be ending all forestry on the Sunshine Coast.
If we further reduce the size of our sustainable working forest, B.C.’s coastal communities and the province will give up real jobs and lose millions of dollars of local revenue that pays for schools and hospitals.
In the media, it’s often implied that the working forest — the land base available for logging — is really big. But here’s how the numbers actually break down: There are 15.8 million hectares in the Coast Forest Region land base. That’s all the land — towns, golf courses, highways, parks, forests. Of that 15.8 million hectares, 7.6 million hectares (48 per cent) is productive forest — land that produces trees big enough to harvest. 3.14 million hectares are protected. That’s 20 per cent of the land base. There are only 2.5 million hectares in the timber harvesting land base, the land where active forest management is allowed to occur. That’s 16 per cent of the land base.
We also need acknowledge the 55,000 old growth management areas in B.C., which exist separate from the parks system, covering an area of 3.9 million hectares. The trees under discussion are not “the last of the old growth.”
As these five cutblocks have been through a thorough planning process over the last two and a half years, I encourage BCTS to finalize the blocks for bid this year.
Dwight Yochim, executive director
Truck Loggers Association