Good forest management needed

Forests are a remarkable treasury for a healthy landscape.

Dear Editor:

Forests are a remarkable treasury for a healthy landscape sheltering wildlife, protecting the soil, slowing the melt, purifying the air and protecting waterways.

Forestry has always been a huge industry in B.C. but it has required good management and direction by the government using the B.C. Forest Service of professional workers.

It is an industry that demands long-term planning; we plant and care for today for harvests two, three or more generations to come.

This is not happening today as it should.

The Forest Service has been so depleted it can no longer carry out inspections, do research or silviculture work, keep a current inventory on which to base annual allowable cut figures, or to make accurate counts for proper stumpage payments by the forest companies.

To show the demands on the Forest Service today, compare the U.S. Forestry 2,700 hectares per forester with the 232,000 hectares per forester in B.C. We ask the B.C. forest professional to do an impossible job.

Forest companies have been given some of the work of overseeing their own activities. But there are glaring examples appearing of over-large cuts (500 Ha), of good wood being put into slash and burn piles, of nothing left in cut areas to protect seedlings and nourish the soil.

As well, high altitude logging is removing trees 150 and more years old.

They may well take 200 to 300 years to reach the size they are today, leaving a vulnerable environment for all life nearby.

It is imperative that the government begin at once to remedy this situation. The increase in forest exports could otherwise be the cause of a disastrous decrease in timber supply with the resulting future losses of employment and financial health.

Contact Dan Ashton MLA with your concerns on behalf of this vital renewable resource. Demand full care for the future stability of the industry.

Sheila White

Summerland