Forestry challenges are expected to form a significant component of the political agenda leading up to the May 14th provincial election. Of course the forestry debate has only just begun to simmer following Liberal Premier Christy Clark’s address to the Truck Loggers convention last month, when she suggested the NDP is reluctant to clarify their policies on forestry.
The Opposition’s forestry critic, Norm MacDonald of the NDP, is presently touring B.C. to meet with community leaders and industry representatives.
A Penticton newspaper tells us here the province’s woefully outdated forest inventory was the focus of MacDonald’s concerns expressed during a visit there last week. The paper touches on some contentious issues anticipated to be more formally addressed in a “five point forest strategy” from the NDP.
For example, while Forests Minister Steve Thomson says that inventory work “didn’t make sense” during the mountain pine beetle crisis, MacDonald wonders why that work has not been accelerated in areas where the beetle situation has stabilized. On the topic of reforestation, Thomson dismisses concern that re-planting is behind schedule – that’s simply “not correct” according to Thomson. If that sounds unconvincing, check out this article at The Tyee. A forestry student at UBC alerted me to it last year through comments he made at this blog. The article draws attention to an investigation into “not satisfactorily re-stocked” (NSR) forest in B.C. It was written by Norm MacDonald.