Community dialogue looks at use of forest lands

The mid-Island community's vision for forest lands and how to improve long-term, sustainable management of these lands is the topic of a public dialogue session at Vancouver Island University Thursday.

The mid-Island community’s vision for forest lands and how to improve long-term, sustainable management of these lands is the topic of a public dialogue session at Vancouver Island University Thursday.

Healthy Forests – Healthy Communities: A conversation on B.C. forests, aims to capture the concerns and recommendations of experts and community members on how forest lands are managed.

The non-partisan, volunteer-supported initiative is being led by the Canadian Institute of Forestry, in partnership with nearly a dozen post-secondary institutions and organizations across B.C.

Regional community dialogue sessions are being held in two dozen communities and the first took place in Williams Lake June 20.

Only about five per cent of the provincial land base is privately owned, said Michel Vallee, a Forestry Department professor at VIU, and some feel the public should have a larger say in what happens with Crown lands.

“There are a great many forest professionals in B.C. that feel in large extent that the government is not listening to the people in regard to forest management practices,” he said. “If the forestry community doesn’t speak out, we lose our credibility.”

Anyone with an interest in local forests and forest management practices is invited to come to the community dialogue session on Thursday evening, which will be held in building 356, room 111 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Nanaimo session is jointly sponsored by the Canadian Institute of Forestry, Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve and VIU and is for mid-Island residents from Ladysmith to Qualicum.

Vallee, who is also second vice-president of the national institute, said the information gathered at the sessions will be given to the provincial government.

The hope is that these public sessions will kickstart a more detailed investigation of the issue, perhaps through a royal commission, he said. A commission is an official inquiry into a matter of public concern.

Some concerns Vallee expects to hear Thursday include public access to private land in the area, as much of the forest land around Nanaimo and area is privately owned, and provincial policies that stop landowners from developing their properties as they feel they should.

Provincial legislation stipulates that lands must be managed sustainably for timber production, he said.

“A large portion of us feel maybe timber management is not the best approach in all cases,” said Vallee.

Just Posted

V.I. Raiders build ‘team environment’ at main camp

Nanaimo-based junior football team held camp this past weekend in Parksville

B.C. Ferries crew member’s medical emergency causes cancellations

One sailing from Horseshoe Bay and one sailing from Departure Bay cancelled Monday

Nanaimo Highland dancers ‘reel’ successful at nationals

Brigadoon dancers competed in Moncton, N.B., earlier this month

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Protection from spills falls short

Letter writer can’t imagine bringing bitumen oil to our ‘salmon sea’

Pirates have a chance to win pennant

Mid Island Pirates sweep Langley Blaze, four midweek games remain

Nanaimo tubber sets all-time record at bathtub race

Justin Lofstrom completes course in fastest-ever time

Islanders have new cancer screening option with $6.5 M diagnostic suite in Victoria

The Gordon Heys Family PET/CT Suite was unveiled at the BC Cancer Centre-Victoria

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Surrey court clerk files human rights complaint related to concussion

Deborah A. Ryane claims her employer discriminated against her on basis of mental disability

Food fight: Liberals, Tories trade shots as pre-campaign battles intensify

Health Canada released an overhauled document that did away with traditional food groups and portion sizes

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Most Read