Forest industry needs efficiency

We believe that jobs and habitat protection can exist if industry shows leadership.

Editor,

Re: Revelstoke forest industry: proposed federal mountain caribou recovery plan will be ‘catastrophe’ for industry, April 2.

It might be surprising to some that the David Suzuki Foundation shares one of the forestry-industry-stakeholder group’s primary concerns about the draft Recovery Strategy for Southern Mountain Caribou: that it lacks maps of the habitat that caribou need to survive and recover (called “critical habitat”). We agree that a description of critical habitat is not sufficient and that critical habitat maps are needed to provide certainty for industry and enforcement officers.

However, we take point with industry’s push for increasing the killing of wolves and bears while allowing logging to continue in areas that are critical to caribou survival. Habitat degradation is the leading cause of the southern mountain caribou’s decline. It is  habitat degradation such as logging and road building that causes increased levels of predation; to address predation without addressing the cause of habitat loss is a Band-Aid solution at best. Additional logging in the habitat that southern mountain caribou need to survive and recover will grease their slide towards extirpation.

We believe that jobs and habitat protection can exist if industry shows leadership. The forestry industry in B.C. could use the wood that it logs more efficiently; as one study showed, for every 205 cubic metres and 298 cubic metres of wood used respectively by Ontario and Quebec to generate one full-time forest industry job, B.C. required 1,189 cubic metres.

Rachel Plotkin

The David Suzuki Foundation