Promote awareness of sustainable forestry, say CanWel execs

FERNIE, B.C. ― Public education is necessary to ensure that residents of communities neighbouring forestry companies are aware of how the industry promotes sustainability, two CanWel executives told local politicians. VP Jake Blackmore and Chief Forester Steve Williams’ address to Fernie council this week featured an update on reforestation efforts. After a public meeting was held to discuss community concerns over CanWel’s activity in the area, Blackmore concluded that “we’ve got to somehow educate people that forestry isn’t bad,” he told councillors. “It’s renewable, we replant, we manage for water, we manage for landslides, we manage for steeper slope blocks. We spend a lot of money on engineering the roads to make sure that if it’s very steep we do full bench cuts, which is a very expensive program but we know we need to do a good job to keep the hillsides from sliding or anything else that comes from the logging process.” The pair did not specify whether the company has made any changes to its harvesting plans under the influence of community feedback.