VANCOUVER, B.C. – The President and CEO of Canfor, Don Kayne, is issuing an open letter asking for a fact-based approach to the management of British Columbia’s old-growth forests that takes Indigenous traditional knowledge and a collaborative process into account.

“We can choose a path that brings First Nations, labour leaders, forestry professionals and communities together to develop a sustainable old-growth management plan that protects our forests and ensures sustainable employment for our communities,” said Don Kayne, President and CEO, Canfor.

“We are asking the Government of British Columbia to rethink the old-growth deferral process. Together, we can build on the 75 per cent of old-growth forests that are already protected or outside harvesting areas.”

Kayne explains that he’s deeply concerned that the Province plans to defer 2.6 million hectares of old forests based on the advice of just five people.

“Government has not engaged with a broad group of Indigenous leaders, labour leaders, forest professionals and communities. Many important voices have been left out of this critical discussion.”

Kayne says the result of the Province’s decision could impact as many as 18,000 workers across British Columbia. He explains that Canfor directly employs more than 4,000 people in B.C., working with over 2,000 suppliers, contractors and Indigenous companies who work in the forest sector, contributing to their local communities.

“This should be a time for unity. We can choose a path that brings First Nations, labour leaders, forestry professionals and communities together to develop a sustainable old-growth management plan that protects our forests and ensures sustainable employment for our communities. We can build on the 75 per cent of old-growth forests that are already protected or outside harvesting areas.”

Kayne is asking government to use objective and transparent science, as well as Indigenous traditional knowledge to identify potential old-growth areas and deferrals and undertake a collaborative process with input from Indigenous leaders, labour leaders, forest professionals and communities to develop the old-growth plan.

“This is B.C.’s opportunity to help support the transition to a low carbon world. Now more than ever, the world needs B.C.’s forestry products, and that’s something we can each be proud of.”