Minister Donaldson discusses Bowen Island logging

From Hansard transcripts of proceedings of the British Columbia Legislature
March 15th , 2018

See this transcript at the source:
https://www.leg.bc.ca/documents-data/debate-transcripts/41st-parliament/3rd-session/20180315am-Hansard-n105

[Note: boldface added]

Conversation between Jordan Sturdy, MLA, Sea to Sky and Doug Donaldson, BC Provincial Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

J. Sturdy: Thank you to the minister. We’re not too far off topic here. It’ll be an issue that I think the minister is probably familiar with. Last summer B.C. Timber Sales proposed a public consultation period on Bowen Island for the development of a forest stewardship plan.

I think it was certainly recognized that the consultation was a bit awkward. Given the timing and for a variety of other reasons, BCTS determined to step back from that and not develop a forest stewardship plan at this particular time. But it was also recognized through those conversations that Bowen is a very, very complex operating environment. I see the minister tending to agree with me there.
[11:55 a.m.]
Some proposals have come forward to recognize that in order to achieve the annual allowable cut in the Chinook business area…. It seems to me, anyway, that it’s reasonable to think that if we’re not going to be harvesting on Bowen, which hasn’t happened in 40 years and doesn’t seem likely to happen any time soon, some of this apportionment or, at least, the target…. In order for the BCTS target to be achieved, it will have to be achieved in a neighbouring community, in another community in another area, in the same region.

Bowen has proposed — and I would tend to support this — that it be recognized that harvesting is not likely to happen on Bowen. If that’s the case, why not pull it out of the timber harvesting land base in order to not necessarily affect the annual allowable cut in other areas or the pressures in other areas?

Some of the mechanisms that have been presented were that the minister could direct Forests, Lands and BCTS personnel to not include Bowen in any future forest plans or that the minister or the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council could remove Bowen from the Chinook business area. The minister could remove Bowen from the Fraser timber supply area, the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council could designate Bowen as Crown land so that Bowen Island could be removed from the annual allowable cut of the land base, or the minister could direct the chief forester to remove Bowen from the land base used to calculate AAC. I could certainly provide the minister with some references and the various statutes or sections.

I wondered, if the minister has had the opportunity to consider this, whether the minister would support this type of direction and if the minister could also provide some guidance to Bowen — in order to relieve, I think, the people of Bowen from the concern they have relative to industrial-style logging on the island.

Hon. D. Donaldson: Thank you for the scenario the member outlined. It’s not going to be a quick answer. So noting the hour…. When we come back again, I’ll answer the question.

(break for lunch)

Hon. D. Donaldson: In regards to the situation of B.C. Timber Sales and logging on Bowen Island, we’re very aware of the sensitivity of the landscape there and that many residents of the island don’t necessarily want to see logging of the forests on that island.What we want to do is have some time to engage in discussions with the residents and, as well, with our own BCTS personnel. That’s why the forest stewardship plan was pulled back. We’re going to embark on those discussions, and that’s to really dig down into some of the topics that residents are concerned about.

The suggestions that the member made on behalf of some of the residents about completely removing the forests there from the timber-harvesting land base might not be in the best interests of what some of the residents want, as far as, for instance, community wildfire protection plans that might need to be put in place.

We’re aware of the concerns that the member representing that constituency, on behalf of the Bowen Island residents, articulated. And we’re going to make sure that we have some time for further dialogue with residents and the B.C. Timber Sales.

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2018-04-06T19:30:04+00:00 April 6th, 2018|news|0 Comments

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