I am writing on behalf of the Consulting Foresters of BC who live or work for BCTS in the Sunshine Coast area, to express my displeasure at the ongoing tactics being used to delay the auction of timber referred to in the article “BCTS urged to spare old-growth forest” (Coast Reporter, July 26).
As forest professionals engaged in the ongoing management of B.C.’s natural resources, we believe that BC Timber Sales has taken every precaution to address multiple resource values and to address public input that has been requested and received for the past 2.5 years for this area.
The Sunshine Coast is part of B.C.’s working forest and we are proud to be a part of B.C.’s sustainable forest sector. The survival of our member companies and the local jobs we generate are dependent on the Sunshine Coast continuing to be a part of the working forest.
The harvest areas under discussion are not “the last of the old-growth” in B.C. They are part of the working forest and should be harvested. There are currently 55,000 old-growth management areas in B.C., separate from the parks system, covering an area of approximately 3.9 million hectares. These areas are part of B.C.’s commitment to preserving old-growth forests.
It’s time to acknowledge that some people will never be happy with resource development, despite the efforts our members and BCTS have put into ensuring sustainable resource development.
If we continue to reduce our sustainable working forest, B.C.’s coastal communities will be giving up real jobs and losing millions of dollars of revenue that pays for schools and hospitals.
We strongly encourage the Sunshine Coast Regional District to support local jobs by encouraging BCTS to put all the blocks up for sale this year.
Jonathan Lok, president
Society of Consulting Foresters of BC