2012-06-07

As trees fell in the woods, this B.C. MLA was there to hear it

Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson was dubbed “Chicken Little” when he raised concerns about the future of the timber supply in his northern riding because of the mountain pine beetle.

That was eight years ago. In recent months, the B.C. Liberal government has discovered the sky is indeed falling because of the pine-beetle infestation in British Columbia. Politicians and bureaucrats are now scrambling to find a way to feed mills in the Interior and the north.

On Wednesday, a legislative committee met in Vancouver to discuss its options – essentially, to decide which rules will have to bend to keep timber flowing to the sawmills. Restrictions that protect old growth, wildlife habitat and even park boundaries are all on the table in regions where as much as 80 per cent of the potential timber is dead.