A new perspective on the forestry industry

In the wake of the government’s recent announcement on deferrals for old growth logging, it’s been a real eye-opener for me personally, to see how many local industry leaders, as well as elected officials, have major concerns regarding potential impacts to Burns Lake.

In fact, I’ll go as far as saying my pre-conceived ideas from following this on-going issue from a far have been completely changed since moving here and covering the local area. I’ve learned so much about the complexities of the industry, and most of all, how crucial it is to the economy of a town like Burns Lake.

Growing up in an area where there was virtually no logging industry, I never was able to see this perspective, and as someone who identifies environmentalist ideals, I was always pro-old growth preservation.

It’s an interesting microcosm for bigger picture global issues; there are always two sides to everything, and often both contending perspectives are valid in their own rights. I never would have understood why people were even protesting deferrals to old growth forests until moving to a place where the logging industry holds extreme importance to the lives of families.

People could lose jobs, and entire communities that have been built by the logging industry will be threatened.

I’ve always prided myself on not being too rigid with my beliefs and ideals, and always at least trying to understand where an opposite viewpoint is coming from. Having said that, I still believe in environmental preservation, that hasn’t changed. What has changed though, is my knowledge of the topic, which has made me realize that the issue isn’t black and white as I previously made it out to be, and a case can even be made that logging of old growth areas will actually help the environment.

It goes to show that being locked in on how you feel about something isn’t always a great way to operate. If I hadn’t been more open to hearing the perspective of logging industry workers, I wouldn’t have understood why this deferral is potentially disastrous communities like ours.

I guess what I’m trying to say is always try to remember to be open to hearing perspectives that are different then yours. Our country is more divided right now then it’s ever been before, and a lot of people could benefit from actually listening to others.

I’m not going to come out and say I’m totally against the government’s decision to defer logging of old growth forests, as I previously mentioned, it’s a complex issue in which a lot of different factors need to be taken into account. What I can say though, is that I completely understand the negative impacts that the deferral could bring forth for communities like ours, and I definitely do not support jobs being lost and families going hungry.

Food for thought.

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Eddie Huband
Multimedia Reporter
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