Re: Special Committee on B.C. Timber Supply concerning Babine Forest Products in Burns Lake.
I would like to offer input into the discussion on the issue of timber supply in the province. A recent Auditor General’s report (June 2012) on the state of our forests confirms what those of us who live within these regions already know.
Our forests are in chaos and crisis. What is needed at this point is a wise government with strong goals for the future of this resource.
I agree that it is important to respond to the crisis in the community of Burns Lake. The fire that destroyed Babine Forest Products destroyed a major part of that local economy. However, I would hope that government would use this and other similar events in the province as catalysts to create better management of forests designated for timber supply.
The disarray in BC’s forestry inventory has to dictate the response to this problem. This is not the time to relax present protective legislation or standards for annual allowable cut.
In Burns Lake’s case, we cannot allow Babine Forest Products to decide what piece of the pie they must have before they can reopen their doors.
This already has been the status quo for too long in B.C.
A wise government will support them as they rebuild a company that makes better use of the dwindling resource. This has to include value added products as well as creative use of waste material. And whatever happens has to be size appropriate.
We only need to look down the valley to Hazelton for an example of what happens when industry is allowed to overbuild.