Only the WSCA and the ministry of forests took up the case before the FRBC review for maintaining enough funding in enhanced forestry to meet our sustainable forestry goals. Industry was conspicuously absent.
Few Champion Enhanced Forestry
You don’t have to be clairvoyant to predict one outcome of the Forest Renewal BC review. They won’t be spending more money than they take in and that will bring their budget down to somewhere around $140-million. This fiscal year’s business plan calls for almost $300-million in investments. Next year’s spending is in for some drastic cuts.
It is hard to imagine reducing enhanced investments any further. At $40-million spent on spacing, pruning and fertilizing our young forests this year we are verging on silvicultural negligence for a province supposedly committed to sustainable forest management. Worse, there have been few silvicultural champions before the FRBC review process to make the case for managing our forests from one end of the rotation to the other. The forest industry has been conspicuoulsy absent. This put a great deal of pressure on the few advocates who came forward, primarily the ministry of forests and the Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association. Both groups had to explain the industry’s lack of leadership on this issue as a preamble to outlining the necessity and benefits of practicing full long term stewardship on the public’s forest resource. Further reductions to enhanced silviculture will put us back to levels of practice we outgrew two decades ago. The results of the FRBC review are expected by early November.
For more information including the full WSCA rant on enhanced forestry visit our website and read our presentation to the FRBC Core Review at http://www.wfca.ca/Resources/Articles/2001/2001-10-10.WSCACaseFor.shtml