Securing the Working Forest, sort of

Government’s initiative to secure a working forest is not getting support from the forest industry.

Government¹s initiative to secure a working forest is not getting support from the forest industry. This paradox results from some of the small print of the discussion paper announced last month. Reflecting public polling that supports establishing a working forest as secure as park land the government¹s initiative also admits that the current land use planning process is flawed. However, it will rely on this process to determine the working forest. That has a coalition of forest industry and resource community groups upset.

Under government¹s plan deletions from the working forest will require a transparent and accountable process enacted by the Legislature. However this won¹t happen until after the working forest is determined by the current process. The coalition wants today¹s provincial forest to be declared the working forests now. Any deletions would then require a full blown process including economic impact studies and the involvement of the Legislature preventing lower groups from determining the working forest. The industry is fearful under the government¹s initiative they will only receive a working forest comprising the residuals and left-overs from the planning process.