(UDATED BELOW – a must read add-on.)
John Doyle never fails to impress, and his latest report is a scathing commentary of how inadequate the BC Liberals really are at managing one of our most precious assets and resources, our forests.
CBC has the story now :
“The audit concludes the B.C. government failed to properly monitor and maintain B.C.’s timber supply and hasn’t properly replanted the forests.
The report released on Thursday morning by Auditor General John Doyle concludes the provincial government failed to halt the drop in timber supply and the loss of species diversity.
Doyle says the government has done very limited replanting, even though many areas of B.C.’s forests have been damaged by wildfires and pine beetles
He concludes that the government has a small window of time in which to turn the province’s forestry future around.”
You can read that full report among other findings, on the AG’s website here : http://www.bcauditor.com/pubs/2012/report11/timber-management
In particular, this is an easy to read, PDF slide format of the report http://www.bcauditor.com/files/publications/2012/report11/files/oagbc-timber-management-slides.pdf
The BC government has clearly, and on an ongoing basis, failed to balance economic interests with protection of our forests for future generations, and this is highly visible as you fly over these great lands. Much of what I had the pleasure of exploring with my dad growing up just north of Prince George, is now a vast expanse of dead trees, or vast areas of clearcut.
I’m sorry to say I took it for granted back then, thinking in the innocence of childhood that it would be like that forever.
Nothing stays the same, I know now. I’ll never forget the first time I saw the extent of kill and clearcut driving to Babine Lake on a visit back home a few years ago -nothing could have prepared me for the physical pain that clutched my chest as tears sprung unbidden to my eyes at the sight of once fertile, old growth forest dead, dying, gone.
Some of the damage was from pine beetles,but much of it was bad logging practices. I’m not kidding about the shock of seeing producing a physical pain -these forests were my playground as a child, my education, my life and my history.
My children will unfortunately never experience those forests and lakes in the same way as I did as a child, because they will be seniors by the time those trees can reach the same degree of growth. I can only show them what remains now, and show them photos of what once was and hope that instills an impression upon them to preserve and conserve the future.
It pains me now, again, thinking about it. And I don’t have to look at it everyday or live with the impact of it in my backyard, like many friends and family do.
We must heed John Doyles warning in this report, that there is a window of opportunity to turn this around. But will the government listen, or will they again demonstrate a penchant for profit over protection.
** update: I hear Steve Thomson is already bleating denials and outrage, because, he sqeaks, the government is already doing what John Doyle recommends… ( they claim this about everything John Doyle schools them on)
However, thanks to a wonderful friend of mine who shared this gem on my Facebook posting of this column, we have a stellar paper that refutes everything Steve Thomson could ever say, and substantiates everything John Doyle reports.
Written and researched by retired Registered Professional Forester, Anthony Britneff, it stands a stark testament to forest practices in BC. Anthony has been sounding the alarm ever since his retirement and it’s about time we all paid attention.
I will be sending a copy to Pat Bell so he doesnt have to dig it out of a box on his floor somewhere…. http://www.wsca.ca/Media/Multimedia/Feb%203%20-%20A%20Backgrounder%20on%20NSR%20-%20Anthony%20Britneff.pdf