To the editor,
Re: Old-growth forests loved and cherished, Letters, Dec. 8.
In a recent letter to the editor, it was suggested that British Columbia stop cutting old-growth forests and instead focus on cutting “old-growth politicians, bureaucrats and excess government.”
Unfortunately, if there was to be a moratorium on old-growth logging, the brunt of the cuts would not fall upon “the people in the ivory towers,” but the men and women who work on the front lines in forestry.
Forestry sustains a multitude of businesses in the Nanaimo region, large and small. They range in size from the employee-saved-and-owned Harmac Pacific pulp mill to specialty mills, logging contractors, and businesses that service the industry. These are good-paying jobs that allow many residents of Nanaimo to support themselves, their families, and their communities with much-needed tax dollars for community services and projects.
These people do not live in ivory towers. They are your neighbours, your friends, and perhaps even family members. They shop beside you in local stores, they eat in the same restaurants, and their children attend the same schools. If there was to be a moratorium on old-growth logging, these families and the community at large would be devastated.
It’s time for British Columbians to stop yelling at each other across the barricades and start talking to each other about the future we want and how to get it. It’s time to start focusing on science and retire the rhetoric. Our province maintains the highest forest-industry standards in the world, and it is possible to have both magnificent parks and economic prosperity, but we can only achieve it with empathy for each other’s positions and an understanding of what the impacts of change are really going to be.
Barry Simpson, Nanaimo
The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin.
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