New committee formed in British Columbia to examine mid-term timber supply
British Columbia’s Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson applauded today’s decision of the Legislative Assembly to form a Special Committee on Timber Supply to examine and make recommendations about mid-term timber supply in British Columbia, as a result of the mountain pine beetle infestation.
The committee will be conducting public consultations and has been asked to deliver a report by Aug. 15 this year.
The committee’s terms of reference are to specifically consider recommendations that could increase timber supply, including direction on the potential scope of changes to land-use objectives, rate of harvest and conversion of volume-based tenures to area-based tenures. The committee will also consider whether any changes to legislation are required.
In making its recommendations, the committee will need to consider the Province’s commitment to balance the budget and maintain competitive electricity rates; the need to maintain high environmental standards and protect critical wildlife habitat; orderly transition for communities to lower harvest levels; maintain a competitive forest industry; First Nations’ titles and rights; and the softwood lumber agreement and other trade agreements.
The committee is expected to hold its first meeting this week to elect its chair, develop a work plan and a schedule for public consultations.
The members of the Special Committee on Timber Supply are:
- John Rustad, MLA Nechako Lakes (convenor)
- Donna Barnett, MLA Cariboo-Chilcotin
- Eric Foster, MLA Vernon-Monashee
- Ben Stewart, MLA Westside-Kelowna
- Harry Bains, MLA Surrey-Newton
- Norm Macdonald, MLA Columbia River-Revelstoke
- Bill Routley, MLA Cowichan Valley
The committee will be supported by a technical advisory committee that will include former provincial chief foresters Larry Pedersen and Jim Snetsinger.