Our community loses yet more of a beautiful and irreplaceable old forest with each timber sale on Mount Elphinstone. The Ministry of Forests boasts of multiple-use management but does considerably less today than 20 years ago. The forest industry will never stop clamouring for logs and wields huge political influence. In response, the Ministry of Forests has become gradually “meaner” (weaker) and has assumed a supporting role as industry apologist.
In a recent letter to the editor, Forests Minister Steve Thomson described us as “disingenuous” in defence of his public consultation programs (?) in our community. Insult acknowledged, Mr. Thomson, but it extends much further than you imagine. We respect our loggers, truckers and all others in the forest industry whose families have for generations helped to build this community. They too take their children and guests to hike and cycle through our own part of Supernatural BC.
The Ministry of Forests with the support of the Ministry of Environment intends to continue logging on Mount Elphinstone where there has been an active park proposal for nearly 40 years. Meaningless acreage statistics are presented as support for their no-park verdict while ignoring the burgeoning recreational use of the forest and the benefits to our community, present and projected. We are not asking for a huge area. At the very least we need to connect the three isolated parks and review management policy for the extensive trail system that crosses the old forest.
Planning is the way through this problem. We need a seat at the table. To deny us this privilege is an act of contempt. After all, it is our backyard.
Dougald MacDonald, Gibsons