Clinton forest needs better management

The writer feels Clinton could make much more money from its community forest if it were better managed.

Dear Editor

Attention all citizens of the Clinton Forestry District, the Lands and Peoples of the Bonaparte Ecological and Economic District:

This is about the importance of Value Added to the development of our vast forestry resource.

On Feb. 8, 2013, the Village of Clinton issued invoice #130012 to West Fraser Mills Ltd. in the amount of $12,813.30 for 14237 M3 of our woodlot timber, or 90 cents for every cubic meter of harvested and delivered logs to the Chasm Mill.

We can easily calculate the staggering potential for our community forest above and behond this present scope and vision. It will become obvious that Entrepreneurship is the solution to our Economic Development.

To point: 14237 M3 logs x 36 Ft3 per M3 = 512,532 Ft3.

Scenario A. 512,532 Ft3 divided by 64 FT3 per cord of wood = 8000 cords of wood. Eight thousand cords of wood at $75 per cord = $600,000 versus the $12,132.30 received from West Fraser Mills Ltd.

Scenario B. 512,532 Ft3 logs, cut split and bundles in standard 0.75 Ft3 bundles would yield 683,376 bundles that retailed through convenience outlets at $6.15 per bundle, generating $4,202,762 versus $12,132 received from West Fraser Mills Ltd. (ref. SBC Firemaster Ltd., Kelowna)

However, the Village of Clinton sold our logs for 90 cents M3 or $1.60 per cord of wood with scant visible economic impact on our community.

Clinton Village Council, Mayor and C.A.O. have possessed for the last two weeks the authority of the Provincial Government to deliver our natural land resources, namely our forests, our of the autonomous community control into the binding directorship of an unelected Board of Directors politically approved only by the Mayor and Council.

Wouldn’t it be prudent before we enter into long term contracts (from which there may be no escape clause) to review publicly the failed experiences of such Community Forests as Burns Lake, Valemount and Smithers?

The Mayor and Council are coming up for re-election this fall. We should demand the candidates present their visions for a Community Forest before this election. Let the people decide with their votes what is really best for our community. Remember, the present Community Forest “blueprint” was a legacy of our last C.A.O….

Before we start clear-cutting everything in sight like they just did at Big Bar Lake, reducing landscape views and property values from 10-15 per cent, we need to realize Forestry Management is a long term responsibility. A forest requires at least three human generations to mature.

The Great Salish Chieftain Seattle summed it up over 160 years ago when he spoke… “We do not inherit the Land from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Grandchildren.”

Pray we make the right decisions for the wise stewardship of our forests, for as we sustain them, so they shall sustain us. We must not allow our community to be swift-boated into legal obligations we will later regret.

We must not allow an unelected Board of Directors the means to deliver our forests into the hands of Vancouver Lumber Barons and their lawyers at our expense and loss.

Ted Pappas