Reader stresses the need for a new forestry management framework that protects the environment instead of just benefiting shareholders. (Black Press file photo)

Letter: New system needed to protect forests over shareholders

Forestry forum to culminate in day of action

I am concerned about forestry practices in B.C. and across Canada. New policies are being made and people need to be heard. The planet needs action for all future life forms.

With so many problems facing humanity, there is unease that one key issue, forest devastation, has become sidelined. Consequently, concerned citizens from impacted communities across the province will be participating in a five-day forestry forum that will culminate on Sept. 18 with a day of action.

The current model of forest management, which primarily benefits corporate shareholders, has resulted in flooded communities, damaged water supplies, destructive landslides, loss of wildlife habitat, rapid decline of endangered species and significant job losses. Additionally, since 2002 B.C. forests have turned from a carbon sink to a massive source of carbon dioxide and methane as more forests are logged and burned in wildfires.

The B.C. government has been unwilling to transition to a system best for both the economy and the environment, and instead continues to reward the corporations. Frontline logging communities deserve better than the continued loss of employment that results from forestry focused on automation and cheap raw log exports, with profits invested south of the border.

Individuals and community groups across the province have been working in isolation to push for changes to forest management, but they keep hitting the wall, legislation that favours corporate profits over ecosystem health and local job creation. New policies need to be created to reverse the old which have provided forestry companies with unfettered access to the publicly owned forest land base. Covid-19 and hopes for post-covid times have people thinking and sharing “out of the box” ideas for a hopeful future.

Will the B.C. government truly listen and step forward in the right direction?

B.C.’s forests belong to the people, not the corporate shareholders. It is time for the BC government to build a new forest framework that respects all parts of nature, Indigenous systems, gives power back to communities, and provides local forestry once again. Learn more at forestmarchbc.com.

Brenda Melnychuk, Sorrento

Read more: Video – Superpod of orcas congregate near Vancouver Island


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