Logging trucks

SRD endorses recommendations of the Old Growth Strategic Review Panel

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Board is the latest local government to endorse the recommendations of the Old Growth Strategic Review

Aerial photo by by Richard Lee on Unsplash

Motion before the SRD

There were only two opposing votes at the SRD Board meeting on Wednesday. 

The Comox Valley Regional District and municipal governments of CourtenayCumberlandLantzvilleMetchosinNanaimoPowell RiverPort Moody, and Victoria have all passed resolutions urging the province to implement this plan. 

Mayor Martin Davis of Tahsis introduced the motion that the Strathcona Regional District endorse the recommendations of the Old Growth Strategic Review Panel and write a letter to the Provincial Government in support of this document. 

Mayor Davis’ recommendation 

“What they came out with several months ago, was a strong set of recommendations which I think are quite fair and balanced. It is unfortunate that this did not come up as an item in our agenda until this morning, but hopefully people have had a chance to look at it – or at least look at the recommendations,” he said. 

“Considering what’s going on these days, we seem to be shaping up for another war in the woods. I find that really unfortunate. I believe it is because the government has not acted quickly enough to rebalance the issue. The Premier actually endorsed this when he was running in the last election and just in the last few days the government has endorsed it once again.”

Davis described the recommendations as pretty basic:

  • Committing to partnerships with Indigenous Nations
  • better data
  • deferral of logging the remaining ‘at risk’ old growth in valley bottoms: “the high quality stuff, which is very rare now”   
  • Prioritizing ecosystem health

“There is nothing really radical here, considering how big of an issue this is. So I am really hoping the government will move on this and I hope our Directors will support it,” he said. 

Director Moglove’s recommendation

Campbell River Director Claire Moglove said she would be supporting the motion. She agreed that most of the recommendations are fairly straightforward. As for the somewhat controversial recommendation to protect old growth: “the Devil will always be in the detail.”  

“Talking to people I know in the forest industry, the recommendations per say are not the issue,” she said. 

The question is how they are going to be implemented? And what further decisions are going to come out of this process?

Truck Loggers Association letter

Moglove read out a segment of the letter that Bob Brash, Executive Director of the Truck Loggers Association letter sent to the Vancouver SUN

“Now that the Province has finally released its anxiously awaited report on old-growth harvesting and subsequent responses to its recommendations, we can finally get to work on the important matter of protecting our working forests.”

“A healthy BC forest sector equals stable communities, strong families, strong economies, carbon positive buildings, sustainably managed resources, huge tax revenues and green forests in perpetuity.”

“From the TLA’s perspective—who have been advocating for the forestry sector and timber harvesting contractors in BC for almost eight decades—we support that government has firmly committed to further and much-needed socio-economic and science-based analysis on the old-growth logging issue.”

After reading this, Moglove said, “I feel confident I can support these recommendations. They are balanced and not anti-logging.”  

Note on terminology: Governments calling for an immediate deferral of old growth logging in threatened areas (Recommendation # 6) are identified as “Calls for implementation.” Governments showing their support but not calling for an immediate implementation of #6 are identified as “Endorses …” Compiled by Roy L Hales

The motion to endorse the Old Growth Strategic Review carries  

There were no opposing speakers. 

When Chair Brad Unger asked if anyone was opposed, two Campbell River Directors spoke up.

There were another 10 Directors present – including Jim Abram (Discovery Islands-Mainland Inlets) who seconded the motion and Noba Anderson (Cortes Island) – most of whom were presumably voting for the motion.

The motion carried.  

Top photo credit: Logging trucks by Old White truck via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

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