Victoria’s suggestion to send loggers into old-growth stands and those set aside for viewscapes may soon be getting criticism from an unlikely source – logging companies.
Under the guise of finding enough fibre to reopen the Hampton Affiliates mill in Burns Lake, the powers-that-be in Victoria have floated the idea of going into old-growth stands and viewscapes, even overriding the authority of the chief forester.
But the braintrust that hatched the plan didn’t really think it through.
The problem? Certification.
Mills throughout the province go to great pains, and expense, to ensure the wood they produce is certified as being harvested in the most environmentally sound way.
And, it’s not just a declaration, it is an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) process.
Buyers who are environmentally conscious are looking for wood to be certified as being harvested in an environmentally friendly way – an ISO 14000 designation.
That environmentally friendly way doesn’t include cutting down every stick of wood that is out there, such as old-growth stands and established viewscapes and wildlife corridors.
And it most certainly doesn’t include politicians overruling decisions by the chief forester in order to simply get more wood to a mill.
The impact for mills that have an ISO certification designation is that they might lose it. When they lose that certification, some markets are no longer available and that, obviously, has a negative impact.
It is ironic that in its zeal to find fibre for mills to keep them operating, the opposite might occur.
Victoria should simply shelve the idea of opening up old-growth forests to logging.
– Prince George Free Press