The Strathcona Regional District voted to endorse the recommendations on forestry made by the Old Growth Strategic Review Panel at their June 16 meeting.
The report came out in September, and included 14 recommendations on how B.C. could better manage old forests. The SRD endorsing these recommendations sends “a signal that we do need to address the issues here,” said Martin Davis, director from Tahsis.
Davis, who made the motion, was one of the contributors to the Old Growth Strategic Review and believes that the recommendations are “fair and balanced.”
“Considering what’s going on these days, we seem to be shaping up for another War in the Woods and I find that really unfortunate,” he said, adding that the province “hasn’t acted quickly enough to re-balance the issue.”
“There’s nothing really radical here,” he added about the recommendations, which include things like committing to partnership with First Nations, better data and the deferral of logging Old Growth.
Campbell River director Claire Moglove agreed, saying that “the recommendations are fairly straightforward.”
“For the ones that are controversial, the devil will always be in the details,” she added. “According to people I know in the forest industry, the recommendations per se are not the issue, it’s how they are going to be implemented… and how decisions will be made on that.”
Recently, two sides of the Old Growth logging debate converged in downtown Campbell River. Discussion, though spirited at times, did fall on how to find a middle ground between the two sides, with Old Growth defenders saying they were not opposed to logging, just logging of Old Growth. On the other side, loggers said that they too were concerned with the environment, but also with their livelihood.
“I feel very confident supporting these recommendations,” said Moglove. “They are not anti-logging and are balanced. Moving forward there will be issues absolutely, but the recommendations are sound and can lead to a much better-managed forest industry.”
The motion, which was to endorse the recommendations and write a letter to the province to that effect passed, with Campbell River directors Andy Adams and Ron Kerr opposed.