Timber companies can’t see the consequences for the trees

British Columbia is in the midst of an unprecedented and unsustainable salvage operation in its interior forests because of the attack of the mountain pine beetle.

And yet, when two of the province’s biggest forestry companies were caught going into those woods and cutting truckloads of healthy green timber meant for future harvests, Forests Minister Steve Thomson’s reaction was as mild as a milk-sated kitten.

After forestry-ministry staff raised alarms, Mr. Thomson signed an order that could have led to hefty penalties for Canfor and West Fraser for taking greenwood in an area where they were supposed to be targeting the dead and dying pine.