In response to the story New Battle In The Woods Predicted; Forest Act Changes Under Fire (The Daily News, Feb. 21) I am writing to correct errors stated by MLA Bob Simpson.
Contrary to what Mr. Simpson says, the proposed legislation sets out a clear transparent process for public input. Applications for area-based tenures, must be subject to public review and comment for at least 60 days; and the applicant must show how any public concerns are addressed before submitting an application.
The minister can ask that the application be amended if public concerns are not addressed, or reject the application.
However, no one needs to take my word for it — I encourage your readers to view the requirements themselves in Part 5 of Bill8, available online: http://www.leg.bc.ca/39th5th/1st_read/gov08-1.htm.
In addition, as announced when the legislation was tabled, this summer the ministry will consult with the public on the evaluation criteria and use the results to refine policy before the first application for a conversion to an area-based tenure occurs.
To learn more about government’s response to the mountain pine beetle and our mid-term timber supply action plan, visit www.gov.bc.ca/pinebeetle.
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations