I read with interest, a recent column by Bob Kronbauer about the actions of a protest group that littered Vancouver streets with signage opposing the harvesting of old-growth trees, and their response to media’s questions.
Indeed, the irony is not lost on the fact that the paper used to distribute their message is a wood product; one of a plethora of products sourced from our forests, all of which is utilized in one form or another.
These actions fall on the heels of two of the TLA’s [Truck Loggers Association] public awareness billboards on Vancouver Island being vandalized. What is also ironic is the double standard that protestors expect the forest industry to tolerate and respect both their peaceful and purposefully disruptive protests; however, when the forest industry engages in their own campaign, they too are protested with rhetorical indignation.
They are clearly passionate about the old-growth issue and what they may not understand is that those of us in the forestry sector share the same passion; but we believe it doesn’t need to be an all or nothing proposition.
By the BC government’s own accounting, there are more than 11 million hectares of old-growth forest in the province, of which the majority is identified as being protected in parks or other forms of reserves that will never be harvested.
We believe, based on the facts, that there is an opportunity to find a balance that addresses society’s expectations of BC’s forest management, while also ensuring millions of hectares of old growth are protected, and allowing forestry workers and their communities to continue to contribute to BC’s economy.
Instead of this constant barrage of dramatic misinformation, I encourage these groups to engage in some thoughtful dialogue.
Bob Brash is a Registered Professional Forester and Executive Director of the Truck Loggers Association