To the editor:
In the article, headlined Timber supply report reveals huge shortfall, on the front page of your Aug. 22 edition, Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett fails to note the recommendations made by the bipartisan Legislative committee underscore the failure of the B.C. Liberal government forest policy for the last 12 years.
The committee was set up in the months following the fire in Burns Lake. Its task was to make recommendations on the mid-term timber supply in central British Columbia as affected by the pine beetle.
The crisis in Burns Lake showed the B.C. Liberal government lacked both inventory data to make informed decisions and any methodology to support a community responding to a crisis in the industry.
A mid-term timber supply report done for [then forest minister Pat] Bell, leaked several months ago, reported the 100 Mile Timber Supply Area (TSA) had about four years supply of fibre, Williams Lake TSA about eight years, and Quesnel TSA about two years supply.
The original mid-term supply report done for Bell made predictions based on inadequate information and, therefore, are invalid. If inventory reports are inadequate, as reported by the bipartisan committee, how do we know how long the fibre will continue to support the various communities?
The B.C. Liberals are projecting a further planned cut of $40 million for forest health for next year’s budget. Clearly, they have not learned their lesson on managing the trillion-dollar asset the forests represent.
The communities in the Cariboo depend on the proper management of the forest. They cannot continue to have a government that does not look after the economic stability of our area.
Cariboo-Chilcotin NDP candidate