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Letter: Forestry the heart of the region


I would like to congratulate city council on two forestry matters mentioned at a council meeting on Jan. 31.

There seems to be some interest in council revisiting the acquisition of a community forest. This needs to be applauded and encouraged. Although the idea was turned down in the middle of the last economic downturn of the forest industry, the community needs to take the longer view.

Resource-based communities like Grand Forks should be benefiting more from the resources around them and the wealth their workers produce.

A community forest can provide an additional revenue stream to the community that would otherwise go directly to Victoria or a large corporation.

I was also pleased to hear council endorse both Grand Forks and Midway mills.

Don’t forget, many former Midway mill employees lived in Grand Forks.  Some competition in the forest industry is good. It helps woodlot owners and private land owners get a better price for their logs. It encourages better utilization of the forest resource.

Efficient mills may be using more logs but at the same time, they should be recovering more product.

We should applaud both Interfor and the group working on restarting the Midway mill for their efforts (Editor’s note: A deal and lease for the Midway mill was completed Feb. 4).

Applying to both the Community Forest and the mills, we should keep in mind that we have in the Boundary timber supply area, one of the best timber supply areas in the province.

We have managed through most of the devastating Mountain Pine Beetle infestation and have not suffered too much from large wildfires. Let’s face it, Grand Forks is still a forest resource based community, where the best paying jobs and benefits come from the forestry sector. Thank you council for not forgetting this.

Ray Hanson RFP (retired), Grand Forks