Poll demonstrates public support for BC forestry

By Ian MacNeill
Truck LoggerBC Magazine
January 5, 2023
Category: Opinion / EdiTOADial
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ian MacNeill

If you got all your news about forestry in BC from the mainstream media and social media websites, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the majority of British Columbians do not approve of the way the province’s forests are being managed. A recent Leger survey tells a far different story. The first finding is that while some British Columbians are indeed polarized on the issue, only one in five is actively opposed to current management practices. …[However] at the other end of the spectrum, only one in five approve of the way in which our working forests are being managed. …Which means that more than half of British Columbians are neutral on the subject. …This isn’t to say they do not care about our forests, they most certainly do, but it also means they haven’t bought into the sky-is-falling fear mongering.

In other words, the war is no longer in the woods, at least not the part of it that really counts, it’s in the hearts and minds of the nearly 60% that simply wants to be assured that the business is being run sustainably. The survey results came as a relief to many industry and association leaders. More good news comes from the fact that four in five British Columbians believe that forests can and should play a significant role in combatting climate change, and… most see timber as a renewable resource that provides economic prosperity as well as one of nature’s most adaptive and beautiful building materials. …“This information tells us that there remains substantial support for our sector,” says TLA Executive Director Bob Brash. “But there are substantial opportunities to better inform the public about our forestry practices. To some extent, it’s about winning, or perhaps in some cases, gaining more trust.”

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