VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The province is not about to allow logging in BC’s pristine areas.

A report on the future of our forest industry released last week steered clear of the contentious idea, much to the relief of the union representing forestry workers.

Arnold Bercov of the Pulp, Paper and Woodworkers of Canada had feared that with BC’s timber supply shrinking, the province would be forced to look for timber in protected areas. But he says the report recognizes the value of BC’s wilderness.

“It really cements what we’ve been talking [about], that people want to retain eco-values and they don’t want parks and protected areas to be opened up for logging. The environment is important,” believes Bercov.

Instead, the panel is suggesting logging in forests considered only marginal in value.

The report noted the timber supply in the Interior is dwindling, thanks to the pine beetle epidemic, which doesn’t bode well for jobs.

The woodworkers union has long argued that the province has to invest more in industries that would process raw logs, rather than simply exporting them.

Bercov is glad the issue was raised in the report, but notes the lack of specifics.

“It doesn’t put a lot of nuts and bolts on how you add value to raw logs. It’s an argument we’ve been having in BC for a long time. We need people to invest in that.”