by Terry Brown
Coming soon to your neighbourhood! Scenic Clearcuts. Toxic Waste Monsters. Frankenfish Farms. Unbelievable Giveaways. Towering Development. Power Line Matrix. All in HiDef Surround Sound Reality!
Okay, much of this is already reality, not a soon to be released feature film. What is coming soon is a provincial government land planning process for the Sunshine Coast Forest District (SCFD). This District extends from Gambier Island in Howe Sound up to Mt. Waddington. This includes the Upper and Lower Sunshine Coast, Toba and Bute inlets and a huge swathe of backcountry up to the border of Tsy’los Park around Chilko Lake. This district is larger than some countries. Many countries can only dream of having crystal clear lakes and rivers, wild salmon and trophy size cutthroat trout, good populations of grizzlies, forests reaching from ocean to alpine, and octopus gardens.
Many of us grassroots activists, as well as the Powell River Regional District Board, have been actively lobbying the provincial government for a full Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) which includes all land and water issues. Fully eighty-five percent of the province has already completed LRMPs.
However, the process which the BC Liberals are offering us leaves most of the issues out of the discussion. We’ve been told the following will NOT be included in this planning process:
1) New Parks: The SCFD was included in the 1996 Lower Mainland Protected Area Strategy. The result? Protected areas totalling only 3% of our district. All the parks were created around Vancouver and Whistler.
2) Marine Issues: This is too fraught with interjurisdictional battles between the federal ministry of Fisheries and Oceans and the province.
3) Forestry Methods: Clearcut logging of ALL the maturing forests is the game plan, since this area is the best growing land for Douglas Fir on the coast. In other words “One Big Tree Farm”. Read more »