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

The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)
Binche shares excitement for upcoming fishing derby

“It’s more than just fishing,” says Dave Birdi

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)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read