A new Forest Service Plan (FSP) for the “Chinook region” (that is, the Lower Mainland, including Bowen Island) is currently being prepared by BC Timber Sales (BCTS). It is to be approved late in 2017. The FSP is a very technical and detailed 179 page document and establishes the “rules of engagement” around timber harvesting activities in the region (e.g. what’s to be done about watershed protection, trail impact, and so on).
BCTS has scheduled an Open House for the afternoon of July 30th. The purpose of this Open House is to provide information to the Bowen Island community about the FSP and the process established by BCTS. We suggest that it will also be our initial opportunity to provide feedback to BCTS on their ideas about logging on Bowen Island. Therefore, if you want to understand what is going on, and make your views known to BCTS, you should attend the Open House.
When: Sunday, July 30th, 2017, 2:00 – 5:30 pm
Where: Collins Hall, 1122 Miller Road
An open and transparent process?
We are currently in the “public review and comment” period for the draft FSP. The period started on July 4th and ends on September 6th. This means that almost a month of the period will have elapsed before Bowen Islanders are informed about the process steps, at the July 30th Open House. It also means that in practical terms a month of the public review and comment period will have elapsed before the community know what they are supposed to do! The Conservancy strongly objects to the way this process is being handled.
There is no chance of moving the Open House, according to BCTS, because that’s when it needs to happen to allow time for public input into the FSP. BCTS have also stated that they couldn’t find a venue to hold the Open House earlier. And, BCTS is expecting ordinary folk to review and comment on what they have stated is a very technical and complex document, and to do this at the height of summer.