In recognition of National Forest Week, Sept. 21-27, 2014, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson has released the following statement:
“As the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, I look forward to celebrating National Forest Week.
“This year’s theme, Sunrise in the Forest, not only speaks to the natural beauty of B.C.’s forests, but the resiliency of the forest sector. Since the downturn of 2009, B.C.’s forest economy has been steadily recovering. From 2009 to 2013, timber harvesting has increased 47%, the value of B.C.’s forest product exports increased by 53% to a total of $11.6 billion and employment increased by 13% providing 58,000 direct jobs throughout the province.
“In 2009, government introduced the Wood First Act to require that wood be considered as a primary building material in public sector construction, and 53 local governments, have followed suit by adopting Wood First bylaws, policies or resolutions of their own. Changes to the BC Building Code in 2009 increasing the maximum height of wood frame residential construction from four storeys to six, has translated into over 200 mid-rise buildings completed or under construction.
“To ensure we have forests for future generations to enjoy, companies are legally required to reforest the areas they harvest. While an average of 200 million seedlings are planted each year, in 2014, we managed to plant over 240 million. We manage our forests for 11 different values, including provisions for wildlife habitat, cultural heritage, biodiversity and recreation.
“The provincial National Forest Week coalition has also produced a Tree Identification App. It will be available for download from http://www.abcfp.ca/about_us/events/national_forest_week.asp on Sept. 23, 2014. The app provides photos and information on every native tree found in B.C., and also allows you to take photos and record notes and GPS the location of your favourite trees!
“I encourage you to take the time to enjoy and learn more about B.C.’s forests this National Forest Week.”
B.C.’s National Forest Week webpage: http://www.abcfp.ca/about_us/events/national_forest_week.asp
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations