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LETTER: Brittny Anderson should hold town hall meeting on old growth

From reader Keith Wiley

Just before last fall’s election, the B.C. NDP released its report on old growth logging. They said they were implementing all the panel’s recommendations and that they were protecting hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest. One of the recommendations was immediate deferral of logging old growth forests. But forestry experts tell us that the cutting of old growth big trees has not significantly decreased, and in fact cutting permits have gone up by over 40 per cent.

At the same time, the forestry industry has been closing mills and drastically reduced the lumber supply, causing an incredible hike in the price of essential building products.

Trucks and freighters also continue to ship raw logs out of the province.

At the same time, whole forests near Fort Nelson and other places are slated to be ground into pellets to be burned for bio energy overseas.

All of which has changed B.C.’s forests from being a wonderful mitigator of the climate crisis to a major contributor of carbon dioxide.

Old growth forests are worth far more standing than they are as lumber. They are ecologically essential and they are the best technology we have for sequestering carbon out of the atmosphere. They protect us from wildfires, and of course they are essential to wildlife.

B.C.’s big trees are part of our identity as British Columbians, from Emily Carr’s time until today.

Far from managing B.C.’s forests in the best interests of British Columbians, the NDP business-as-usual government is allowing the remnants of our ancient forests to be mined, not for the benefit of working people, but for the profit of forestry corporations.

Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson should hold a public town hall as soon as possible to hear concerns about the crisis in B.C.’s forests.

Keith Wiley

Nelson