VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s forests minister says both sides on the issue of old-growth logging in the province are so polarized they “can’t see the forest for the trees.”

Katrine Conroy told those attending the BC Council of Forest Industries conference that, though old-growth logging has garnered passionate public debate recently, she believes the views of most residents fall somewhere in the middle of the extremes.

Conroy says the province is implementing a strategic review of B.C.’s old-growth forest management and is working with First Nations and other partners to develop a new long-term strategy.

She also told the crowd that low-carbon forest products are critical in the global fight against climate change.

This comes as the government announced it’s spending $19 million over three years to increase the carbon stored in B.C. forests.

The forests ministry says $15 million of the funds will be used to fertilize about 8,500 hectares of forests to increase growth rates and extend the life of trees so they can store carbon.

Conroy says the plan will lead to a reduction of 3.7 million tonnes of emissions by 2030.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 28, 2022.

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