The Columbia Journal
P.O. Box 2633 MPO,
Vancouver, British Columbia,
Canada V6B 3W8
Huge Service Cuts Threaten Public Forests, say
The Campbell Liberals' cuts to the BC Forest Service are threatening
the ability of the provincial government to properly manage and protect
British Columbia's forests, according to a new report released December
"The Sierra Club of Canada has documented how 800 jobs have been cut
from the Ministry of Forests since 2001," said BC Government and
Service Employees' Union President George Heyman. "These cuts
have come in some of the most important jobs in the Forest Service -
the employees responsible for compliance and enforcement."
The Sierra Club report also shows that scalers, the staff who measure
the value of the wood cut by the forest companies, are now only able to
check one out of every 147 truckloads of wood, calling into question
whether the people of BC are receiving full compensation for our
resources from forest companies.
"The cuts to the Forest Service have hit communities outside the Lower
Mainland especially hard," said Heyman. "The Campbell government
follows a cynical policy of short term resource exploitation which just
helps line the pockets of industry at the expense of British Columbians
and a sustainable economy for forest dependant communities."
The Sierra Club recommends increasing the minimum stumpage rate and
hiring more staff to monitor and safeguard BC forests.