Timber review uses outdated inventory

September 28, 2015

By: Times Colonist

Re: “Walbran plans balance green, economic values,” Sept. 23.

Instead of showcasing his involvement with land-use planning more than 30 years ago, the Coast Forest Products Association’s Rick Jeffery would have been more obliging if he had told readers what has changed since the 1990s.

Today, most land-use plans in the province are so grossly out of date, they are meaningless. The average age of the forest inventories that would be used to inform land-use planning today is now probably worse than the average age of the plans.

In 2012, the Association of B.C. Forest Professionals noted that about “41.9 per cent of the province is represented by inventories that were completed prior to 1990, and 29.9 per cent prior to 1980.”

By law, the chief forester has to use this dated inventory to conduct a timber-supply review and set a new allowable annual cut for each management unit on a 10-year cycle. Yet the Forests Ministry is content to allow management units to run past the 10-year legal limit.

Perhaps most significantly, the government scrapped the world-class Forest Practices Code Act of B.C. and replaced it with a piece of legislation — the Forest and Range Practices Act — that should have been relegated to the shredder years ago, as it has failed to protect any forest value including the sustainability of timber.

Contrary to the mantra of the Forests Ministry and the industry association, the present government manages for timber alone. That is why it allows the logging of the few remaining remnants of truly ancient forest in the Walbran.

Anthony Britneff

Retired professional forester

Victoria

By: Times Colonist

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