18th December 2019
EDITOR: There are numbers of the groups on the Island that have taken the opportunity to meet with their MLA's while they are on their home turf over the water and forestry issues.
A group from Port Alberni is one of those who has met with Minister Scott Fraser.
These are their notes from that meeting:
Scott has had two meetings with the new management at Mosiac (formerly Island Timberlands and Timberwest).
He focused so far on public access frustrations, which have been fierce here in the valley.
He has found these men are more approachable and open-minded than the former lot. Progress has been made on public access to their lands.
One can now go online to see which gates are open and when...apparently there are 50% more openings than in the recent past.
Scott emphasized to them the importance of looking after social licence. He thinks there may be an opportunity for more "friendly" working together.
The review of the PMFL Act (Private Managed Forest Land Act) is complete and a summary has been made public on line.
A large volume of public input was received from the valley.
The FLNRO Minister has not yet released what changes will be made and actions taken.
Scott will try to arrange a meeting of our group with those Mosaic people early in the New Year, so we can take our concerns directly to them:
The annual allowable cut is too high; it is still based on the past (before climate change; when there was appurtenancy legislation, etc.)
Legally, local governments are financially responsible for providing safe potable water, but they have no voice or governance as how their water sources were, are, and will be affected by the actions of logging on private managed forest lands.
There is a serious disconnect and a clash of laws.
Old growth is still being logged too quickly.
We discussed purchase of watershed land and expansion of City boundaries.
Scott will share the meeting's discussion with Minister Donaldson. The reconciliation work is of course taking up most of Scott's time.
Jane Morden and Mike Stini are out in the woods and watching what is happening on the ground almost daily.
They are able to bring realty to the table.
That is a nutshell; we came away cautiously hopeful.
EDITOR: There was a recent study done by 4 scientists from Ontario called: "Cutting the Island..."
I have also attached this document for your use.
This document came from the Alberni group.