To the editor,
Re: Fairy Creek old-growth protests hit 500-arrest mark, July 31.
Being part of a fifth generation of independent loggers on Vancouver Island I was an advisor to the Western Canada Wilderness Committee and pointed out what I thought was right and what I considered wrong with their efforts.
I donated all of the lumber when they attempted to save Carmanah Valley by building trails so the public could see for themselves what was there. They were successful and I am happy about that as all the province would have received was not enough to buy one house in Victoria. As a businessman I could not see why the province would want to give away a world-class tourist site that brings in annual revenue to the B.C. government and towns on Vancouver Island. It is now a park containing the tallest spruce trees in the world.
I also agree that today’s forest practices are greatly improved from what it was when I started in the business more than 60 years ago. Yes there are sufficient parks and a lot of the old-growth is over-mature and should be harvested and re-forested as young trees are much better at cleaning the air than the old ones – they are the young lungs of the forest. I have seen whole valleys of over-mature timber up coast that should have been harvested 50 years ago.
If you drive up the Island Highway to Port McNeill I think you will be impressed with the re-forestation that has been done.
What is needed is for the Ministry of Forests to create more woodlot licences (a mixture of private and Crown land) because they are better-managed and the community is provided with building material and the money stays in the community.
Mike Gogo, Nanaimo
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