Editor, The Times:
Canfor would like to provide an update on our harvesting plans in the Upper Clearwater area, understanding that there have been concerns expressed by some community members.
Over the past four years, Canfor has been undertaking the environmental analysis and public consultation work in order to prepare cutting permit applications covering an area of approximately 180 hectares in the Upper Clearwater area. The volume harvested from these stands will be milled at our Vavenby sawmill, which reopened in 2011 following a $24 million investment to upgrade the facility.
Our company firmly believes that we can have a sustainable forest sector that provides jobs while protecting environmental values and coexisting with other economic sectors like tourism. Canfor has invested significantly in the best science possible to guide our planned activities in the Upper Clearwater area, using data that supports a sustainable approach.
We have undertaken comprehensive terrain stability assessments, hydrology studies, visual impact analysis and wildlife biology assessments using independent, third party experts. We have hosted public meetings where the reports have been made available with the experts in attendance to answer any questions from the public. These reports have been and continue to be made available at our local office for viewing at any time, along with detailed information about our plans. All of this information and analysis supported and has been incorporated into our cutting permit applications.
We recognize that some members of the community will remain opposed to all forest sector activity, regardless of the efforts made to employ best practices using expert guidance. These viewpoints must be balanced with the views of other members of the community, including the 175 people who work at our mill and their families, the hundreds more who conduct our harvesting operations and everyone in the Valley that benefits from the $54 million a year that our mill injects into the local economy.
Peter Baird, RPF
General Manager – Forest Planning
Canfor Forest Management Group