Questioned by the Loyal Opposition in recent Legislature debates Forest Minister Steve Thomson said he is willing to consider communities managing their adjacent wildfire threat through a special form of forest license. The proposed scheme outlined by Forest Critic Norm Macdonald would address the slow progress on dealing with wild land urban interface fuel management and remedy the current unsustainable drain on the provincial treasury for these treatments. Minister Thomson agreed to consider the scheme that would better protect communities by licensing them to harvest and sell wood within an expanded setting around their borders to cover the costs of fuel treatment and wildfire hazard reduction. This proposal is consistent with some of the presentations at the WSCA’s 2013 Western Wildfire Conference that described how creating a bio-energy economy could cover fuel management costs, create jobs and better protect communities.
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