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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP identify dangerous driver from near head-on collision by Golden

Police say the extremely dangerous and illegal maneuver put multiple lives at risk

Morning Start: Big Bertha is the oldest cow to ever live

Your morning start for Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Kelowna glider pilot crashes in the Columbia Valley

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating the circumstances of the crash

MP Morrison pushes for accountability following federal fiscal update

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian says it is time to restart the economy

UPDATED: Interior Health to add 495 long-term seniors care beds

Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton to receive new facilities

Sources say Canada, U.S. likely to extend mutual travel ban into late August

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted at the possibility after a phone call with U.S. President

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Rare comet NEOWISE and aurora lights captured in Okanagan

The image was captured over Big Horn Lake near Kelowna with a Pixel 4XL android phone

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Summerland home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

‘We know people are going to come to Kelowna’: Mayor addresses COVID-19 cluster

The mayor said people need to continue following the advice of the medical health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry

City of Kelowna to hold funds for 2023 Memorial Cup bid

$135,000 of the city’s initial $225,000 commitment to the tournament will be held for a future bid

Oliver cherry farm allowed to continue operating following positive COVID-19 cases

Interior Health not concerned about health risk to individuals consuming products from farm

Most Read