To the editor,
Re: Some trees must be preserved, others need to go, Letters, Jan. 17.
With respects to the 800-year-old tree that was harvested in Port Alberni recently, I must implore everyone to remember the valuable old-growth that is already contained within parks and designated reserves. As a community, Islanders have done an excellent job in voicing our opinion that we must save our primeval forests and forestry companies have made significant concessions. The resulting Vancouver Island land use plan is helpful when trying to understand conservation values and how foresters have allocated our timber resources. The plan states two very important details: due to the natural value and growing recreational/tourism opportunities, the amount of land designated as protected area was increased to 13 per cent of the total forested land base; and the remaining old-growth forests are mainly in the higher elevations and the more remote western and northern parts of the Island. What this means to me is we’ve done a great job limiting overconsumption but since the remaining old-growth is not in the southeastern part of Vancouver island where our population primarily resides most people aren’t aware of what we have.
The tree in question was felled within the working forest, and as ugly as it seems I have no problem with it. I think those furthest from the issue are being most critical. I believe it’s as good of a time as any for us to look at revising our land-use plan but I hope it can be done with the same level-headed analytical process of previous years.
Brendan Flanagan, Nanaimo
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