British Columbia: Remember all those enviro regulations & local jobs?

My view was partially obstructed by piles of logs that had been felled
recently. I soon realized that they had been yarded out of several
patches that had been left behind from earlier logging. These bunches
of trees had been left as part of a selective logging practice known
as Variable Retention, which is referred to by many as patch-cut

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The previous owners of this forestland, Weyerhaeuser, had obtained
special certification for their logging practices in order to get past
tight restrictions set by buyers of lumber such as Home Depot, and
European markets. The standards needed to meet these regulations
forced the logging multinational to leave small clumps of trees
throughout their clear-cuts, including small buffers along watershed
tributaries. Certification was approved, trees were cashed in for
dollars, and investors were paid.

At the same time international and domestic consumers were duped into believing that logging in BC is regulated by the highest environmental standards in the world. Then Weyerhaeuser sold all of its forestland on Vancouver Island to Brookfield Assets Management Inc Through the BC Investment Corporation 25% of Island Timberlands is owned by BC Government employees via their pension funds. Since 2005, profits from this logging company have been stored offshore in Bermuda by Brookfield Asset Management in order to minimize taxes paid in Canada. Island Timberlands is now cutting down the buffer trees which completely defeats the purpose of Variable Retention logging practices.

Multinational logging companies are now selling forestland all over Vancouver Island as real estate. What the public doesn’t realize is that forestlands were established in BC during the 1950’s and were put in place to promote sustainable logging that would provide economic stability for future generations. Stipulations were included that local towns would be supported, in perpetuity, by logging companies that benefited from forestland status. These regulations were put in place for the good of local economies. It was illegal for logging companies to sell forestland as real estate. Since 2001 Premier Gordon Campbell’s Liberal government has stripped away these regulations, cut back the Forest Service staff, and given hundreds of thousand of hectares to multinational forest companies, which they are selling as real estate.

Timberwest is selling 54,000 hectare of forestland as real estate between Courtney and Campbell River with a few plots in Oceanside. Western Forest Products is selling 1,800 hectares of real estate between the community of Shirley and Jordan River. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. has been strategically placing forestland on the real estate market along the east coast of Vancouver Island.

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