The environmental group Wildisght has put out a call to action for reform of the Private Managed Forest Lands Act.
This is not the first time Wildsight has brought attention to the need for changes to the act. Private land logging under the act has different rules than those for Crown land logging, and clear cuts are not uncommon.
The lack of regulations for private land logging has shifted the burden to communities, forcing British Columbians to pay the price for lax provincial rules that let big companies claim tax breaks while clearcutting vast areas, Wildsight says.
“Water, wildlife, and community recreation suffer in community after community when private land logging destroys forests. The Union of BC Municipalities has passed 15 resolutions dating back to 1991 asking the province to fix private land logging regulations, yet no real action has been taken.”
RDEK Area E Director Jane Walter, who lives in the St. Mary Valley, near Kimberley, where a lot of private land logging has taken place, told the Bulletin last year that she had been pushing for years with both the BC Liberal and NDP governments to put the same rules on private land logging as Crown land. So far her lobbying has had no effect.
“The St. Mary’s Valley is a treasured area for local residents, providing quiet recreation and important wildlife habitat. Lakefront property has been clearcut and massive clearcuts have scarred the landscape further up the valley,” a statement from Wildsight says.
“The Private Managed Forest Land Act has no requirement for forest harvesting to be sustainable and no limit on cut for landowners; short-term gain is prioritized over long-term sustainability. Environmental protections are lacking, with minimal stream and water protections and no requirements to maintain wildlife habitat. Landowners are not required to consider downstream values or to consult with affected residents, communities, and local government. We need stream and water protections, and requirements to maintain biodiversity such as old growth and wildlife habitat.”
If you would like to contact the provincial government with your thoughts on private land logging, please visit wildsight.ca