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BC appoints independent panel on old-growth forest management

Panel to hear public feedback on managing the province's old-growth forests



A two-person panel appointed by the B.C. government is visiting communities to hear feedback on managing the province’s old-growth forests.

Garry Merkel and Al Gorley were appointed to lead an “Old Growth Strategic Review” and submit a recommendations report to B.C.’s forests minister Doug Donaldson by April 30, 2020.

“Old-growth forests have significant economic, social and cultural values, and we are committed to developing a new thoughtful and measured approach to managing this resource for the benefit of all British Columbians,” Donaldson said in a government news release. “Merkel and Gorley will be having broad conversations with Indigenous Nations, industry, stakeholders and communities about the future of old-growth management.”

The panel will be addressing various perspectives, including employment and economic benefits, social, cultural, and environmental value and the need to address climate change.

Community visits have been scheduled for the following dates:

Oct. 24-25 – south-central Vancouver Island
Oct. 28-31 – Skeena/Nechako
Nov. 7-8 – north Vancouver Island
Nov. 12-15 – Thompson/Shuswap
Nov. 18 and 21 – Vancouver
Dec. 2-3 – northeast B.C.
Dec. 4-6 – Vancouver/Sunshine Coast
Dec. 9 – Haida Gwaii
Dec. 12-13 – Vancouver/Victoria
Dec. 16 – Sea to Sky
Dec. 17-20 – Cariboo/Okanagan
Jan. 7-9 – Kootenays

Residents are also able to provide input through the panel’s public engagement website. Feedback is open until Jan. 31, 2020, at 4 p.m.