Two forestry organizations will sponsor a provincial town hall meeting in Kamloops on March 6, featuring Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer as the moderator.
Organizer Alan Vyse, a forester and scientist, said the idea is to get forestry issues on the public agenda in advance of the May provincial election. The non-partisan event is being co-hosted by the Southern Interior Silviculture Committee and Canadian Institute of Forestry.
The groups said B.C. is at a crossroads due to pine beetle infestation, climate change and market conditions.
Among those invited are Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Minister Steve Thompson and Opposition critic Norm Thompson.
The event is scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m. at TRU’s Ike Barber Theatre.
“The budget contains barely a mention of forestry issues,” Vyse said, adding the groups want to elevate debate on the future of B.C.’s forests.
“There’s been a real turnaround (in the forest economy) but not a whole lot of public discussion about changes in the past 10 years — some good, some not so good.”