When the B.C. government started talking about removing private lands from Tree Farm Licence (TFL) 44 on Vancouver Island, officials in the ministry of environment shared their concerns in a flurry of e-mails.
The big worry was that once lands were taken out of the TFL, Weyerhaeuser would have a free hand in deciding where and what to log. Wildlife biologists were afraid that sooner or later loggers would start cutting down long-protected forests. Changes to TFL were authorized in 2004, and since then the amount of land protected for wildlife has dropped from 2,400 hectares to 900 hectares.
In these two key e-mails, from 2001-2002, government staff express their fears about what might transpire.
A quick guide to some of the acronyms used: WLAP is the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection; MSRN is the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management; MoF is Ministry of Forests; Weyco is Weyerhaeuser, which would later sell TFL 44 to Island Timberlands; UWR refers to ungulate winter range and WHAs are wildlife habitat areas.