Why have a conversation on B.C. forests?

Early in 2009 and through 2010 concerns were voiced by a number of professional foresters and biologists, conservationists, academics, community leaders, forest support companies and First Nations regarding the future of BC forests.

Early in 2009 and through 2010 concerns were voiced by a number of professional foresters and biologists, conservationists, academics, community leaders, forest support companies and First Nations regarding the future of BC forests.

It was the view of this wide range of traditional perspectives, greater attention was needed as to whether our forests will meet societal expectations over the long-term.  The areas of concern related to actions taken or not taken in forest management, realizing the full value from the forest resources and protecting the forest environment.

During the independent conversations, a number of initiatives were identified generating the concept of the Healthy Forests-Healthy Communities: A conversation on BC forests (HFHC).  It was viewed that community and citizen issues had to be brought forward to decision-makers.  However, this must to be done in a non-partisan, volunteer-supported way and based on sound technical information without campaign spin.   The HFHC was designed to catalyze dialogue with natural resource experts and local communities (including members of the forestry profession, Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals, community advocates, conservationists, youth and concerned citizens) to inform decision-makers about the people’s vision for the forest lands of BC and identify areas for improving long-term sustainable management to ensure healthy forests and healthy communities for a brighter BC future.

The objectives were to raise the profile of forest management for development and debate of political party platforms leading up to the next provincial election and inform decision-makers on the communities’ vision for BC forest lands, including local and regional perspectives and issues.

The HFHC process includes three components: 1) securing background information from experts in the field, 2) holding Community Dialogue Sessions to acquire community views and suggestions, and 3) providing a website and social media mechanisms to share information and enhance public dialogue.   The Community Dialogue Session in Golden , Sept 8th, 7:15 PM, at the Golden Seniors Centre will provide an opportunity for Golden and Area A residents to share their concerns, issues and suggested actions to encourage decision-makers to move the forest to a condition that will meet their long-term needs. Bill Bourgeois is the Coordinator for the HFHC initiative and a professional forester with a PhD and 35 years experience in the forest industry and consulting

Denise English

Golden, BC