Letter writer Mike Gogo, shown at his Christmas tree farm south of Nanaimo, says more woodlot licences would lead to better forest stewardship in B.C. (News Bulletin file photo)

Letter writer Mike Gogo, shown at his Christmas tree farm south of Nanaimo, says more woodlot licences would lead to better forest stewardship in B.C. (News Bulletin file photo)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: More woodlot licences would help B.C. with forest stewardship

Tree farm owner and letter writer says a lot of old-growth is ‘over-mature’ and needs to be cut

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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