Government Invitation to Participate in BC’s “Old Growth Strategic Review”

In July 2019, government announced a new “Old Growth Strategic Review,” which involves a two-person panel travelling across the province to engage with First Nations, industry, stakeholders and communities to hear perspectives on the ecological, economic, social and cultural importance of old-growth forests.

The panel includes Garry Merkel, a professional forester and natural resource expert, and member of the Tahltan Nation, and Al Gorley, a professional forester and former chair of the Forest Practices Board. They will report back to government in spring 2020, and their recommendations are expected to inform a new approach to old-growth management for British Columbia. The Terms of Reference for this strategy can be read here.

The results from this review could potentially have a substantial impact on timber harvesting contractors in BC, and is quite possibly one of the most important initiatives that TLA members will need to ensure they have a voice on. The panel is looking at how to manage older stands on the Coast and in the Interior, so individual contractors’ voices from across the province is vital. The future of the forest industry in BC is at stake.

The TLA will advocate on your behalf, but government also needs to know and hear very loud and clear from individual contractors that timber harvesting is central to your business. The more people who attend these meetings to inform government about how this will impact your business and your livelihood, the more impact the message will have.

On October 24, meetings will begin with Garry and Al, and TLA members are invited to participate in this strategic review by submitting an on-line expression of interest to meet with the panel to share your thoughts. They want to hear:

  • What old growth means to you and how you value it
  • Your perspective on how old growth is managed now
  • How you think old growth could be managed more effectively in the future

Subject to demand and availability, the panel expects to be in areas on the following dates:

Oct 24 – Nanaimo
Oct 25 – Victoria
Oct 28 – Terrace
Oct 29 – Smithers
Oct 30 – Burns Lake
Oct 31 – Prince George
Nov 1 – Prince George
Nov 7 – Port Hardy
Nov 8 – Campbell River
Nov 12 – Kamloops
Nov 13 – Salmon Arm
Nov 14 – Revelstoke
Nov 15 – Vernon
Nov 18 – Vancouver
Nov 21 – Vancouver
Dec 2 – Ft St John
Dec 3 – Ft St John
Dec 4 – Vancouver
Dec 5 – Powell River
Dec 6 – Sechelt
Dec 9 – Haida Gwaii
Dec 12 – Vancouver
Dec 13 – Victoria
Dec 16 – Squamish
Dec 17 – Williams Lake
Dec 18 – Williams Lake
Dec 19 – Kelowna
Dec 20 – Penticton

Every effort will be made to accommodate in-person meeting requests, however if a suitable time cannot be found, a meeting by phone may be offered.

I encourage every TLA member to take full advantage of this opportunity to ensure that your voice is heard and that government fully understands how important logging old growth is to your business. Please share this information with non-TLA members and encourage them to arrange a meeting as well.

As always, I invite you to contact me to help deliver your message or discuss further.

David Elstone
Executive Director
604-684-4291 ext 1