As a long-time forest activist who once worked in the forest industry, my message to the province regarding the closure of sawmills and loss of jobs is, “the future we warned about has arrived.”
For decades we have cautioned that the province’s forests are being overcut and the result will be degraded ecosystems, loss of species, damage to fresh water supplies and the loss of jobs. The industry is the architect of their own demise and while forest workers are but pawns in this travesty, the forest companies have taken their well-subsidized profits and invested the money into sawmills in the U.S., where tree plantations grow many times faster than they do here.
British Columbia’s forests have been ravaged and, while B.C. citizens are left with the mess, the corporations will continue to profit south of the border. While mill closures and job losses are depressing, today’s crisis was so predictable and was so preventable.
Jim Cooperman, President,
Shuswap Environmental Action Society