To the Editor,
On Nov. 5 the provincial government released a summary of what they heard during the review of the Private Managed Forest Lands Act. The good news is, it appears local government and citizens are speaking with one voice. They want better protections of watersheds, habitat, old growth, access and a better functioning forest sector. You can read everything at engage.gov.bc.ca
I believe one key way to achieve all of that is to repeal Section 21 of the Act. This is the section that prohibits local governments and communities from regulating the actions of private forest companies within their territories. Communities should have more control, especially when it comes to protection of water supplies, and economic development.
However, the response from the forest companies, quoted below should get people’s attention:
“For those who own private forest lands and participate in the PMFL program, most feel that a better tax break would provide incentive to remain in the program. Factors that could encourage these land owners to leave the program would be a lack of financial incentives or stricter regulations.”
That’s right, Mosaic and its operating companies Island Timberlands and Timberwest want more of our money and less regulations, or they will leave “the program”.
How tone deaf.