Forest poll part of anti-Canadian trade campaign, industry says – Smithers Interior News

President of the Forest Products Association of Canada says poll showing most Canadians believe their governments aren’t doing enough to protect forests from logging is coordinated with efforts to block purchases of Canadian forest products in the United States.

Derek Nighbor describes a Press release and survey released this week by Nature Canada as “dishonest,” involving the unregulated destruction of forests across the country, including British Columbia, which has been a target of anti-logging protesters for decades. The survey refers to Canada’s boreal forest, but does not reveal that more than half of Canada’s vast forests have no industrial activity. Of the 48% who do, half fall under conservation measures that are not considered protective, Nighbor said in an interview Monday (March 28). He said Canada is responsible for 40% of the world’s ecologically certified forests.

Nature Canada counts among its largest donors some of the American foundations that supported the creation of the Great Bear Rainforest Preserve Area in British Columbia in 2007, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Nighbor notes that Nature Canada’s “circle of champions” of donors, who contribute $100,000 a year or more, also lists Parks Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Nighbor said he contacted these federal departments to ask why they are helping to fund an organization that provides misleading information about Canada’s forestry practices and is also pressuring the US states of California and New York to stop buy Canadian forest products.

The poll also finds support from three in four Canadians for extending the carbon tax on wood used as fuel, such as wood pellets made from residual wood from British Columbia and shipped mainly to the UK for replace coal in power plants. Wood is treated as a zero-balance renewable fuel in Canada and other countries.

Critics of forestry practices in Canada and British Columbia overlook the environmental benefits of forest management, including renewable fuels, carbon sequestration from wood construction and wildfire management, Nighbor said. The effects of climate change on strictly preserved forests such as Jasper National Park have been graphically illustrated in recent years.

“The mountain pine beetle devastated this park and turned it into a [net] carbon source,” as dead trees rotted or burned, he said.


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Betty K. Park