By Doug Donaldson
B.C. Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
In British Columbia, forests have always been a vital part of our way of life – anchoring our economy, and providing both recreation and tourism opportunities.
As we near the end of what has been an unprecedented wildfire season, when our precious forests were under constant threat, I hope you’ll join me in celebrating National Forest Week, Sept. 24 to 30. It’s a great way to truly appreciate the value of our forests and how important it is to manage them sustainably.
We are about to plant our eight billionth tree, clear evidence that we care about the future of our forests.
National Forest Week has a special significance for British Columbians this year. The theme of the week is Our Stories, Our Future: Celebrating Canada’s Forests. It’s a chance for us to speak to the importance of forests from our past and into our future – from the cedar trees that have been central to the lives of coastal First Nations people for thousands of years, to the advanced wood products used to build the Brock Commons student residence at the University of British Columbia, the world’s tallest modern mass-wood structure.
As we move into wildfire recovery, our government is working with First Nations and local communities to help them rebuild local economies, as well as co-ordinating support for land-based activities to restore so many forest values – from timber to habitat.
Premier Horgan’s government has committed to building a sustainable economy that works for all British Columbians and the forest industry will play an important role. We’re committed to working with industry, local governments and First Nations to do everything we can to ensure our forests remain an important part of our lives and support our sustainable economy.
We will address regulatory and capital barriers so we can gain more value from our forests by expanding innovative wood product manufacturing.
We will also modernize land-use planning, so we can effectively manage the incredible ecological diversity in our forests – from wildlife habitat to old growth. And we will invest more in reforestation – especially important after this summer’s wildfire season.
I represent the Stikine riding in northwest B.C. where we have an especially close connection to our forests and our land. Regardless of where you live in B.C., I encourage you to mark National Forest Week by taking the time to appreciate the immense value of our forests and join me in thanking all of those involved in responding to this year’s wildfires.
Source: BC Government