LETTER: Professional reliance protects private interests

From reader Ron Retzlaff

Re: “RCMP arrest logging protesters near Meadow Creek,” March 7

Bill Metcalfe’s story about the arrest of logging protesters near Meadow Creek tells a sad and intentionally confusing tale about the state of the forest industry in British Columbia. According to Bill Kestell of Cooper Creek Cedar, the protesters are misinforming the public by saying the cutting permit was approved by Cooper Creek Cedar. He says the company doesn’t approve anything. Technically, I suppose, that is true. The company just hires a professional, and they proceed to come up with a plan to do the logging which they then present to government. The government “then issues a permit without evaluating or commenting on it.” If company employees produce the plan, and the government just signs off on it, how is that not pretty much not the same as allowing the company to approve the plan? I think Mr. Kestell should stop trying to evade the truth and confuse the public, and the government should stop trusting private interests to protect the public’s interest.

I live in Glade and every time I travel to Nelson or Castlegar I witness the unsustainable abuse of our precious forests. I started counting a couple of months ago. I can’t drive to either community without bypassing at least three, and often up to five loaded logging trucks. It is only a half hour drive either way, so that adds up to 96 to 160 loads in an eight hour day. I’m not a professional forester, but I can’t imagine any way in which that level of cutting could possibly be sustainable.

And if the majority of us disagree with this pillage, and protest against it, the people who are in a position to exploit our common resources for their own wealth enhancement can, of course, rely on the Queen’s Cowboys to arrest us and jail us or fine us to shut us up. If we would prefer to recognize and enjoy the other values that the forest provides, well … too bad for us.

Rod Retzlaff


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