Best forest practices?

I have to wonder about some of the recent letters to the Editor. Seems like people just don’t understand that the trouble we are in stems from past management.

Brian Monroe was criticized for bringing up the past when he responded to a simple question asked by a listener on how an overcut of that size, was possible. It was a legitimate question and it required a response from the former Chairman of the Board.

Mr. Thompson knew the overcut was a deliberate decision of the former management to cut the quota in 3 years instead of 5, and he knew there were still future contracts to fill that would put them into the overcut. I believe Mr. Thompson must have known that a substantial waste assessment would also be applied against the cut. I would like to ask Mr. Thompson if he understood the seriousness of what they were doing. I certainly hope that neither he nor anyone else from that previous board would ever sit on that board again unless they got some forestry education.

I feel they did not have a good enough understanding of basic forest practices.

That question was how the big overcut happened. The question in my head is WHY it happened. This was a chance for openness and transparency.

Instead of Mr. Thompson answering the question at the meeting, it reminded me of past meetings where questions had to be put on a paper but were only answered after a few of the board and manager went away to figure out a response, then came back to give an answer, with no further comment or rebuttal permitted.
BA Blackwell was brought in to provide advice as forest professionals. During their audit, the problems related to a huge overcut, the large waste assessment, and outstanding charges came to light. As professionals they have a duty to address these issues. They did their duty.

One letter speaks of Jeff McWilliams never having run a community forest…. McBride’s previous manager had never run a community forest either when hired.
A group of men years ago…. were put down and labelled as whiners. The problems raised then have manifested into what we are left with today. You cannot learn if you don’t listen and pay attention. It is mind boggling that the huge gift awarded to this community is in this state….It is an embarrassment to the community.

Out of 8 community forest audits, ours came out the worst by the Forest Practices Board. While we were charged for logging into old growth areas and other non-conformances, Valemount and other community forests had good audits”

“People say we have to move forward. These problems cannot and should not be swept under the rug. To move forward we have to confront past problems, make sure it doesn’t happen again and salvage what is salvageable.”

Diane Smith
McBride, BC