Groups call on TimberWest to reduce logging in Great Bear Rainforest
READ MORE: Environmentalists are calling on TimberWest to halt logging in the Great Bear Rainforest after accusations the forestry company is ramping up its cutting ahead of a deal on how to manage the ecosystem. Keith Baldrey has more.
The Great Bear Rainforest, 64,000 square kilometres of forest home to myriad creatures, including the Spirit Bear, is one of B.C.’s most famous tracts of wilderness.
Now, environmental groups say TimberWest is logging part of the area at higher rates than agreed upon, months before a new agreement comes in place that would impose stricter rules on future logging.
“This is a double threat. We have TimberWest logging like crazy, and we are still awaiting the final steps of the agreements,” says Jens Wieting, a Sierra Club Campaigner.
“That means we are losing critical forest.”
The incoming legislation is based from a 2006 agreement between First Nations, the forest industry, environmentalists and the government. It put caps on both the amount of land that can be logged, and the total amount of timber that can be harvested.
However, the final piece of legislation won’t be brought to the legislature before the spring session ends – which means the situation could continue for several months.
“We’ve talked to the company, talked to Forest Ehtics, and I think they need to sit down and review the plans and have that consultation,” said Forests Minister Steve Thomson, who says the company is legally complying with current rules.
“It is a very small part, less than 10 per cent in the [Great Bear Rainforest] is available for logging. They need to work together, and I’m strongly encouraging that to take place.”
Wieting says TimberWest isn’t willing to do so.
“They have not slowed down logging, they are still undertaking poor planning, and they really have to change. They have to become part of the solution, and stop being part of the problem.”