MLA Report: Good Policy

Norm Macdonald talks about long term investments

Long-term investment in our public lands is just good policy.

British Columbia is unique in many ways but one of the most significant is the fact that over 94 percent of the province is made up of Crown Land.

That means that the vast majority of our province is owned by the public; owned by you.

This clearly is our greatest public asset.

In fact, just the publicly-owned timber on these lands has been valued at $250 billion.

If you take into account the total value of all the resources on our public lands the figure is close to $1 trillion.

As rural residents, we can see daily just how valuable our public lands are.  These lands are where we work, hunt, hike and fish.  And we know that having this asset comes with responsibility.  Our responsibility is to manage our public lands properly, not just for today but for the future.

Our priority must be to protect and promote forest health.

A healthy forest has implications for future fiber supply, hydrology, and climate change.

And doing the necessary work on our crown lands would create jobs here in rural BC.

Over the last decade, the BC Liberals have let us down.

Since 2001, Forestry staff have been cut by 25 percent.  Last year alone, forest stewardship budgets were cut by 19 percent even though extra responsibilities for water stewardship had been added to this department.

The budget for forest research has been completely gutted.

One key indicator of the state of our forests is a measure known as Not Satisfactorily Restocked (NSR); deforested land which has not been adequately replanted.

These are areas that have been deforested by wildfire, windstorms, disease and pests.

The Minister has conceded that as much as one and a half million hectares of BC’s forest land is deemed NSR.  This is a shockingly high figure that has led to an investigation by the Forest Practices Board.

Instead of dealing with this increasing problem, the BC Liberals changed the rules so that the government would not be legally responsible for replanting and then cut the reforestation budget by 90 percent.

Yes, improving forest health will cost money; likely $100 million a year.  But let’s compare that figure with the $500 million the government just spent on a retractable roof for BC Place, an investment with very questionable value, and certainly none for rural BC.

Clearly a fancy new roof makes a better photo-op than planting seedlings.  Long-term investment in our public lands is just good policy but unfortunately that seems to be out of favour with this government.

 

Just Posted

Weekly Mountain Minute

This week’s top news stories:… Continue reading

De Groot family still waiting for inquest after 2014 Slocan shooting

Lawyer for Peter De Groot’s family say many questions remain unanswered

Teepee raising ceremony invites Invermere Chief to Metis Nation Columbia River Society

Some people might notice a new teepee standing tall outside of the… Continue reading

Four-year-old girl one of two killed in highway crash near Creston

The 26-year-old driver of a Saturn SUV was also killed

Community helps Golden’s Fall Faire success

By Colleen Palumbo Well folks it looks as if everything is falling… Continue reading

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Most Read