BC Forest Tenure: Bill 8 is dangerous and outrageous.
Bill 8 is dangerous and outrageous.
For example, a corporation may apply to the government for a TFL, notify (not consult with) the public asking for feedback within a short period of time, and, then, the corporation reports back to government telling it what it heard from the public.
This legislation is TFL-rollover for the benefit of corporations at the expense of First Nations and communities at the discretion of Cabinet with no quid pro quo for the public (e.g., 30% takeback of volume; upgrade to existing mills, building of a new mill, etc)). Also there is no requirement that timber from the TFL be tied to and directed to local mills for local employment. First Nations and communities do not have sufficient licences to rollover to TFLs.
Having cut back budgets by 52% for forests, parks and environment and consequently having rendered dysfunctional the management of renewable resources, this government now implements the final cut and privatizes the forests under the guise of area-based management, which they claim is better than volume-based management.
Better for what? Better for whom? In just about every country in which area-based forest management is practised, they have ruined natural habitat and have completely lost their natural biodiversity -- their natural inheritance. We in British Columbia still have a chance to do it right for ourselves and future generations. Further administrative fragmentation of landscapes and enclosure of the commons will only make matters worse, more difficult, and infinitely more expensive to re-establish and assert public control and jurisdiction over public lands.
Ironically this government is trying to ram through Bill 8 in its last two months in power in a hurried attempt to move forward its secret agenda to privatize public forests just as the Auditor General releases a scathing report on the status of the provinc'e's biodiversity. If anyone seriously believes that area-based management is better than volume-based management for the conservation of water, soil, and biodiversity, please show me the argument and studies. Area-based management produces "normalized" forests designed to grow timber at the expense of all other forest values (much like FRPA, just like Europe).
Bill 8 concerns me greatly. It is worse than tenure reform on the fly without public consultation; it is a gross corporate give-away. But I am perhaps equally concerned about the lack of engagement by environmental groups ostensibly concerned with biodiversity, ecosystem linkage, and conservation of soil and water, who appear unable or unwilling to connect the dots, to see the forest for the trees, and to realize the destructive implications of Bill 8. That really disappoints me. Bill 8 deserves a public outcry of mythical proportions.