(Originally posted on DSBC - reposting here as this is a timely and critical issue !) "As a member of the BC public, be alarmed. As a camper, hiker, fisher, off-road rider, quadder, or outdoor enthusiast, be VERY alarmed. This isn't hyperbole; it IS JUST what it says on the tin. Ben Parfitt of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has just written an article in The Province that details the BC Liberal Party's plans to give the provincial cabinet powers to grant forest compatines de facto private control over public forests without first having to consult with or even notify the public. http://blogs.theprovince.com/2013/0...-liberals-are-planning-a-b-c-forest-giveaway/ Don't think this can happen? Well it already has on Vancouver Island. The forest companies have been given much of the Crown Land in the south and central island. It's not crown land. Last summer in Nanaimo, the Nanaimo River Road gate was locked from May on. It is still locked. There is no access allowed to vast tracts of previously accessible land. It's so bad the Fisheries are no longer stocking lakes in the area as access is difficult for them and, besides, no one is allowed access to fish. So why stock the lakes? Now the push is on for the rest of the island and province to follow suit. And the BC Liberals are not wasting any time for the election; they are getting this done before May by "introducing a two paragraph bill granting it powers to fundamentally alter the course of forestry in B.C." Parfitt's article goes on to describe how forest companies will no longer just enjoy the right to log set volumes of trees on public forestlands, but now they will gain dramatically expanded powers to log trees on defined areas of crown land that in effect become their own semi-private kingdoms. Not only that, stumpage fees would be minimal to the province, and once these Tree Farm Licenses are granted, the province cannot take back the land without paying huge compensation payouts to the companies. And TFL can be traded to companies who have no interest in your children's economic or environmental welfare, or your community's access to the British Columbia back country. Why are they doing this? Because the companies say there isn't enough timber on their own lands to log any more. Why? Well the government has faced mounting criticism over a forest health crisis due to decades of over-cutting and the pine beetle attack. Numerous saw mills face closure in many rural communities, but could that have anything to do with exporting raw logs to China, Japan and other markets do you suppose? Logging companies have failed to replant adequately on government land: that's not a rumour; it's fact, as reported early last year - this government has the worst record of enforcing it's own rules on the private logging companies. This was tried by a government 25 years ago, but it was scuttled because of a public outcry. Now they're trying again: quietly. It may be a different party (BC Liberals rather than the SoCreds), but many of the people - and private owners who mean to benefit from this, remain the same individuals they always were. Read the article and spread the word: NO! No for our access; no for our children's heritage; no for the environment, and no to undemocratic raping of the public purse for private corporate interest. NO."