Following on the momentum of last month’s WSCA annual conference silviculture contractors have agreed at a recent strategic summit that the silviculture industry must take a more prominent and professional approach to getting its message out on forest health and reforestation in B.C.
A public affairs consulting firm has been asked to draft a communications strategy for the WSCA, and once approved, to be implemented as soon as practicable. The strategy intends to raise the profile of the silviculture industry drawing attention to its accomplishments and its credibility as a resource in assisting government in finding remedies and strategies to deal with the ongoing forest health crisis. At the WSCA summit contractors agreed there has been a popular sea change that has suddenly put environmental issues foremost in the public imagination.
If the WSCA doesn’t position itself promptly on the environment and forestry its voice may be lost in the political clamour already developing. Integral to any communications strategy is the message. Contractors identified the disconnect between government dollars promised to forestry and the amounts hitting the ground as actual programs as an area of concern. The province’s go slow approach to restoration and the absence of an overarching integrated strategy to deal with the forest health problem were also identified as areas requiring correction and advocacy on the part of the WSCA. The communications strategy will identify plans for working with local media, identifying strategic allies and working with all levels of government.