Each year, less than one per cent of the area designated for sustainable timber harvesting by B.C.’s independent chief forester is harvested. (B.C. government photo)

Each year, less than one per cent of the area designated for sustainable timber harvesting by B.C.’s independent chief forester is harvested. (B.C. government photo)

B.C. overhaul of logging policy continues to include old-growth harvest

Province seeks new ways to redistribute big logging tenures

The B.C. government laid out its plan Tuesday for the first overhaul of forest policy in 20 years, with a shift to Indigenous control of Crown resources, and two more years of consultation on extending temporary protection of old-growth forests to more areas of the province.

Old-growth areas deferred from logging last year will be added to, but they will be further deferrals, not bans on logging, as the province redistributes its vast public forest lands, Forests Minister Katrine Conroy said.

Conroy and Premier John Horgan released the government’s 20-point policy paper June 1, setting a target to increase the Indigenous share of timber cutting rights to 10 per cent of the total. Horgan emphasized that the province won’t move unilaterally to ban logging, because that would be another colonial-style imposition on Indigenous people’s land rights.

The policy framework was released as daily arrests continue at a set of logging protest roadblocks the premier’s Vancouver Island constituency, with police enforcing a court injunction granted to Surrey-based Teal Jones Group to harvest areas containing trees that are 250 years old or more. The protests have continued despite objections from the Pacheedaht Nation, which has demanded the protesters leave the territory.

Horgan said an independent report by foresters created deferral areas of 2,000 square kilometres, as big as most of Metro Vancouver, and further deferrals of logging are possible, but discussions with the Pacheedaht and other area Indigenous groups are confidential until they are complete.

“In a time of gang violence, where we are deploying more law enforcement to address the challenges of criminals, it’s very difficult to watch law enforcement being utilized to address the passions of people in old growth forests,” Horgan said. “It’s hard work, and it involves not going back to our colonial past and dictating to Indigenous communities what they can and cannot do.”

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau echoed the environmental groups staging the blockades, calling the NDP government’s plan “no action” on old growth preservation.

“Today Premier Horgan said it will be 2023 by the time a new old growth plan is introduced.” Furstenau said. “In the meantime, we will continue to lose irreplaceable ancient forests because of his broken promises and refusal to take meaningful action.”

RELATED: Arrests resume at Vancouver Island logging blockades

RELATED: Pacheedaht Nation rejects protest actions a second time


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsforestry

Just Posted

A concept rendering of the proposed seven-unit, two-storey development at 1129 Riverside Ave. in Sicamous. (District of Sicamous graphic)
Proposed luxury development in Sicamous sparks parking concerns

Seven-unit commercial-residential building planned for Riverside Avenue

The Shaw Centre and the SASCU Recreation Centre are the two largest producers of greenhouse gas emissions on City of Salmon Arm properties. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
City of Salmon staff surprised COVID not cause of drop in greenhouse gas emissions

2020 sees emissions on city-owned properties decrease well below 2019 totals

Shuswap Litas and Son of Stomp head out from uptown Askew’s parking lot on Thursday, June 10, some with teddy bears and stuffies, to ride to Pierre’s Point by Adams Lake community hall to show their support for band members in the wake of the confirmation of 215 children buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap bike clubs ride to support Indigenous communities

Motorcyclists go to Pierre’s Point in solidarity with bands in wake of residential school findings

Interior Health is offering mobile vaccination clinics for the first dose only of COVID-19 vaccine in the Shuswap from June 15 to June 19h. (Interior Health image)
First-dose vaccinations for COVID-19 offered via mobile clinics in Shuswap

Clinic in Salmon Arm scheduled for June 15, other clinics in Sorrento, Malakwa, Chase

The price per litre of regular gasoline was at 145.9 cents at several gas stations in downtown Salmon Arm on June 11, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)
Gas prices pumped up in Salmon Arm and Sicamous

Price spikes from 131.9 to as high as 145.9 cents per litre

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

The rainbow flag flies beside the Canadian flag outside the University of the Fraser Valley’s Chilliwack campus on June 26, 2020. Monday, June 14, 2021 is Flag Day, and also June is Pride Month. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Most Read