Black Press file image

Forest management, a collaborative effort in West Kootenay

Letter to the Editor from Scott Weatherford, CEO of ATCO Wood Products, Fruitvale

Mr. Hart’s opinion of forestry in B.C. (“We need to involve communities in preserving forests,” published in the Trail Times on Aug. 25) is completely out of touch with the reality of how the forest management process and the forest industry works in the West Kootenay.

We are fortunate in our region to have a healthy and diverse forest industry dominated by independent, family owned businesses, who have been responsibly and sustainably managing our regions forests for generations.

Our region’s family forest businesses are akin to family farms who plant, nurture, and harvest the crops season after season, generation after generation, for the good of our community (both local and global); the only relevant difference being the rotation time of the crop.

Responsible management practices that ensure our forests are sustainably providing for our communities and the families whose livelihoods depend on the forests, are central to the health of our forests, our communities, and our family forestry businesses. Our region’s forests are largely certified by independent, third parties to rigorous environmental management standards.

Our regions’ mills produce high valued, speciality products. Our local forestry companies’ decisions are made in the kitchen tables of the Kootenays, not the board room tables of Toronto as Mr. Hart would lead you to believe.

Forest management in the West Kootenay has always been a regular collaborative effort involving local governments, recreation groups, community groups, and other local stakeholders. Harvest plans are developed, altered, and changed based on the collaborative input from those groups.

Currently, new forestry policies are being discussed through a highly collaborative approach throughout the province that is involving all stakeholders (forestry companies, local government, recreation groups, environmental groups, provincial government, etc.).

Mr. Hart’s claim that these discussions are only occurring with forestry companies and First Nations is simply wrong.

The vision that Mr. Hart has for a successful forest management approach is already reality in our part of BC. In the West Kootenay, we have been managing forests responsibly for a healthy balance of social, environmental, and economic values for generations….and as a result, our forests, our forest industry, and our communities, have been thriving.

Mr. Hart’s cause would be better served if he spent more time studying how the successful forest industry model in the West Kootenay can be replicated elsewhere in the province to achieve similar success, instead of generalizing his narrow observations and limited experience with the BC forest industry, and spreading misinformation.

Scott Weatherford

CEO – ATCO Wood Products Ltd., Fruitvale, BC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Castlegar autism workshop helps parents cope with wait times

Kootenay Family Place holding workshop Feb. 1

Columbia Basin Trust shuffles board, new leaders at the table

The Trust is governed by a 12-member Board of Directors

Talin Verigin elected SD 20 trustee

Verigin will represent rural Castlegar RDCK Areas I and J.

Wenatchee Wild earn split with Trail Smoke Eaters with shootout win

Trail Smoke Eaters open with 4-3 win, then fall 2-1 after nine-round shootout in Wenatchee,

School District 8: No visiting Chinese students have coronavirus

SD8 says its international students have already been screened for the virus

VIDEO: Canada’s first presumptive case of coronavirus officially confirmed

Both patient and wife arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

First-place Canucks beat Blues 3-1 for ninth straight home win

Miller nets pair as Vancouver defeats Cup champs

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Police search for man who went missing from Vernon hotel

Jay Rosenberger, 38, was last seen Friday

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

After four sexual assaults in the same B.C. park, RCMP ask women not to walk alone

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

BC Place lights up in purple and yellow to honour Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash

Whistleblower says Iranian-Americans questioned at Peace Arch crossing were targeted

Immigration lawyer says response from Customs Border Protection is a ‘total cover up’

Most Read