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

Category 3 fires to be prohibited in Southeast Fire District

The prohibition will take effect at noon on Wednesday, June 12

Editorial: We’re already ambassadors to our community

There are many ways to spend your extra time in Golden. Have… Continue reading

Data shows nine years of Tourism Golden growth

Tourism Golden has seen its ninth consecutive year of substantial growth in… Continue reading

Protecting small mammals after logging near Golden

A team of biologists are keeping an eye on small mammals in… Continue reading

Business profile: IGA celebrates 50 years of business in Golden

IGA has been providing the Town of Golden with their groceries for… Continue reading

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

Most Read