Open letter in response to Bill Bowie’s May 27 letter in the Yukon News: How much wood would a woodchopper if Ã‰:
The Yukon Conservation Society agrees with Bowie. Our forests do provide an opportunity to create employment and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. We agree that this is a good thing.
Our forests also provide wood for local products that we can use in our homes and offices, wilderness experiences for those in the tourism industry, habitat for furbearers and wildlife that trappers and outfitters depend on. And they provide a number of services that humans consider important: clean water, clean air, carbon uptake and storage and biological diversity.
We agree the primary reason for creating the Yukon Forest Resources Act was to regulate the cutting of trees. We believe this is as it should be. Other Yukon forest-based industries have their own acts that regulate their activities.
The secondary reason for creating the Yukon Forest Resources Act is also important – to minimize the impacts of cutting trees on other people who use the forest and on the countless values or services that our forests give us.
The Yukon Conservation Society does not disrespect the hardworking men and women employed in the forest industry. We depend on them to continue to build sustainable businesses in the Yukon for the benefit of all of us who use trees in one form or another.
We believe sustainability in a forest act is all about recognizing that there are many values in the forest and that care must be taken to protect these values to the best of our understanding, including timber.
We hope that the Yukon Forest Act will enable Yukon businesses to produce a variety of products for the local market and beyond, and that they will do so for a long time.
Sue Kemmett, Yukon