On Sept. 16 in Prince George, mayor Shane Brienen attended the Omineca Beetle Coalition meeting.
There was discussion about the Hwy. 16 west transit system, but the main topic was focused around forestry initiatives.
Jason Fisher, newly appointed Associate Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Forests, was also present for the meeting.
“There was discussion about the amount of wood waste left behind in the bush and talk about solutions, maybe having sorting areas where we are bringing more of it into town and dealing with some of the waste rather than burning it all out there. There was talk about the legislation that is already in place to support wood waste and discussion about if it is being used,” commented Brienen.
At the meeting Brienen also gave the ministry an overview as to what some of the decisions look like on the ground for small communities and how they affect us.
Brienen said that Fisher assured them that the ministry is not looking out for the companies first, that they hear the concerns of the communities loud and clear, and he is urging the province to slow down and take a look at the impacts of their decisions.
When the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations came to Houston six to eight months prior to the decision, the municipality was told that the area was sustainable for 10 years.
“I wasn’t talking alone in there. Every community at that table from McBride to Smithers is feeling the same way. How can we make a five or 10 year plan, in a forestry based community, when we don’t know if our mills are going to close or not?” said Brienen.
Houston Today contacted mayor Brienen for more information but was unable to receive a response by press time.