(To write your own letter on BC’s Environmental priorities, check out the Wilderness Committee site which gives an option to email all the candidates for leadership at once.)
Dear BC Leadership Candidate:
As a British Columbia, resource management worker and ecologist – I believe that it is time for real environmental leadership in British Columbia. As such, I am writing to request your position on the following environmental priorities in British Columbia so that I can encourage those who are able to support leadership candidates in parties to direct their energies towards the person(s) who will best represent environmental concerns.
Specifically, I am interested to hear your views on:
1) Raw Log export and Old-Growth Logging. BC has all but lost its wood-milling industry over the last three decades — job losses that have put increasing pressure on the extraction of wood rather than the secondary-processing of it. This in turn puts increasing pressure on old-growth areas such as Clayoquot Sound – true gems of the Pacific Northwest which should be left untouched as some of the last examples of intact temperate rainforest in the world. Neither the NDP or the Liberal Party have done much to stop the hemmoraging of jobs and trees from our province – and I am wondering if there is to be any change to that policy under your leadership?
2) The BC Park System: As a regular recreational user of the BC Parks system, I have noted a continual decline in our provincial parks. Sites are not being maintained and there are increasing cut-backs to resource and parks management staff. Not only can this represent a threat to public safety (ie: the shutting of the Manning Park Ranger Station where trail users at one time reported trail problems such as dried up water holes) but also looks pretty bad to the tourist base BC seeks to attract (ie: the Cathedral Lakes Parking Lot that has had a fallen tree right down the middle of it for more than two years – not to mention the destroyed BC Parks signs). I would like to know what commitments you are willing to make to restored BC Parks funding and the expansion of BC’s Parks?
3) Independent Power Projects: Far from being “small” and “green”, IPPs represent a massive threat to the river resources of our province. Not only are our rivers in danger of diversion, but fish populations already being adversely affected by the IPPs that have been allowed to go ahead. In addition, many IPPs require roads to be cut into previously roadless areas, affecting wildlife corridors and causing riparian area damage that will have long-term impacts on the eco-system. The worst part about the IPP strategy is that it is entirely unnecessary, as BC already provides more than enough power for its citizen base — additional energy projects are entirely about generating profit through the sale of cheap power resources to the United States. I would like to know your thoughts on IPPs and their future in BC. I would also like to know your position on further deregulation of BC Hydro, the legacy of which has contributed to the rise of IPPs.
Thanks for your time in responding to these issues, I look forward to hearing from you.