Your say on forests wanted

With the forestry downturn continuing, the provincial government is turning to the public for feedback. 

Minister of Forests Doug Donaldson said the government asking for local input and insight "to shape a prosperous, competitive and culturally sensitive Interior future forest sector."

He said the downturn, and mill closures and curtailments, are being caused by lower prices for lumber, pressure from foreign trade action, as well as a shrinking timber supply from back-to-back wildfire seasons and the dwindling pine beetle salvage harvest. 

The province says it will support impacted communities and workers with community transition and response teams that work with the federal government, local governments, industry, labour, employment support programs as well as post-secondary education. 

Engagement sessions will be held in communities across the interior with local officials, First Nations, and forest sector stakeholders, industry, contractors, professionals, and labour representatives.

The public is asked to provide feedback through an engagement website.

"The province has invited coalitions in each timber supply area, comprised of industry, labour, First Nations and leaders in forest-dependent communities, to work together to develop a new vision for the Interior forest industry at the regional level," a press release states. "The coalitions have been challenged to recommend the complex, sustainable solutions needed in their regions to renew the Interior forest sector so that it remains competitive, supports local communities, and provides well-paying jobs."


Engagement sessions will be held in Kamloops and Merritt Aug. 11-17, and in Vernon Aug. 18-24.


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