Page 8 - October 3 2016
P. 8

Caribou plan raises concerns for local forestry

Plan to "pool" timber resources may mean "expropriation" and job losses

by Adrienne Tait “We are not supportive of the recommendation presentation and said, “We have known about
to share the current timber resource with other the caribou situation for years. West Fraser has
Representatives from West Fraser Hal Jackson, companies,” said Jackson, “We urge the done remarkable work.” Williams said that
Rob Baron, and Albert Oliveira brought forth a government to respect current forest tenure despite Jasper National Park only holding
presentation which addressed key concerns the agreements and not pursue the timber pooling natural predator threats to the caribou, he has
local forest industry, and West Fraser in concept. Any reallocation of timber from West seen more caribou near Grande Cache and
particular, face regarding the provincial caribou Fraser will result in job losses.” outside of the park.
recovery plan. Another concern raised was the lack of “Alberta ships wolves to the States and to
Jackson said that overall West Fraser is direction or information following the five year Yellowstone National Park. The north has an
supportive of the development of a strategic plan plan. “The draft plan provides some clear abundance of caribou why can't they be
to maintain and enhance the caribou population. direction on timber harvest for the first five relocated here?” said Williams.
“We are pleased they have the plan for the area,” years, but there is no indication of what level of Councillor Russell questioned whether the
said Jackson, “We are glad the government is harvest may occur after that,” said Jackson. province had factored in the impact of the
recognizing the importance of balance and Councillor Jack Williams commented on the mountain pine beetle in their recovery plans.
sustaining jobs within the region. This is a
difficult balance but we believe it is attainable.”
Jackson told county council that West Fraser
intends to participate in the recovery process and
has made “deliberate and concise” decisions
with regards to the allotment of their timber
supply in anticipation of the provincial
protection plan.
Jackson told council that over the years West
Fraser has made significant investments based
on fibre supply and needs “every cubic meter of
timber we have rights to in order to maintain the
capacity of our current manufacturing facilities
and employment levels.”
The proposed provincial recovery plan calls
for “Timber pooling” and the reallocation of
resources between the companies affected by the
range plan. Jackson told council they view
“timber pooling” as “timber expropriation.”
West Fraser contends it is likely the company
most negatively affected by the plan which
impacts their Hinton, Edson, Blue Ridge, and
Whitecourt facilities. The caribou range covers At the beginning of the school year Collette Remillard representing the Edson Back to School Fundraiser
63,019 hectares on the Hinton forestry brought a huge box of school supplies for needy students to Niton Central School. And recently she
management area. brought in a box of food for students that don’t have lunches. The school greatly appreciated the support.

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