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Forest permits, penalties, prescribed burns targeted in new B.C. legislation – Grand Forks Gazette

Proposed changes get tentative approval from industry voice

The provincial government Monday (Oct. 30) tabled legislation as part of a broader push to modernize forest management.

Changes call for more flexibility in the issuance of permits for logging and road building.

Forests Minister Bruce Ralston said current legislation gives government only the option to deny or approve such permits, which he said has caused delays.

“So if you are a logger waiting to go into the woods to begin work or if you are a mill waiting for those cut logs to come to you, I think you will be pleased,” Ralston said.

Other changes call for tougher penalties and new tools to enforce existing regulations and law. Those who log without logging permits could not only be held liable for the market value of the timber, but also for reparations and damages caused to the landscape, Ralston said.

“So we think that will be another effective tool that will encourage people to follow the law and those who break the law will face more serious consequences,” he said.

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