Sunday, May 27, 2007

An End to Old Growth Logging in BC?

Not quite, but it promises to be greatly reduced thanks to a new forestry plan announced by the BC government. In it, Forests Minister Rich Coleman stated that the province would begin shifting harvesting from old growth to second growth timber, and would quickly move to reduce raw log exports from the province.

Whether or not this leads to a more sustainable forest industry will largely depend on what annual allowable cut is set and how effectively the harvest areas are managed - particularly with regard to critical wildlife habitat and salmon bearing waters. Likewise, it is also unclear what this announcement will mean for Canada's endangered spotted owls. At last count, just 16 remain in the province and a recently leaked report stated that the government was choosing to capture and breed the remaining birds, rather than protect the old growth habitat they need for survival.

Details of the new policies will be announced in the next two weeks.

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