BC government announces its intentions to ‘modernize’ the forest sector

Old-Growth

Critics of the new plan have already commented on Horgan’s commitment to the old-growth strategic review and the old-growth deferrals the new plan outlines.

“Not a single one of the 20 policy intentions announced today is achievable without social license, and without any immediate action on old-growth, this government will continue to lose that,” Torrance Coste from the Wilderness Committee said in a statement.

Sonia Furstenau, leader of the BC Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley also criticized the new plan and said the set of deferrals announced by government so far, in September 2020, largely do not meet the criteria of high-risk, high value forests at risk of logging.

Timber and Tenures

The new plan also said it intends to change policy and strengthen the annual allowable cut for the timber industry, which is seeing a supply shortage with a booming demand due to climate change, the mountain pine beetle, the epidemic and large wildfires.

“The proposed changes to forestry policy will address the rapid decline of available timber and promote higher-value wood products like mass timber,” the BC government said in a statement.

“It also recognizes that responsibly managed forests are a legacy for future generations. They are a high-value resource in a global market demanding more sustainably sourced goods.”

The B.C. government authorizes the rights to harvest Crown timber through forest tenure and said it intends to diversify forest tenures, where currently, five large companies hold roughly half of the forest tenures in the province.


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