Soo, Summary of Public Input

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Socio-Economic Analysis

Submissions from labour, industry and individuals indicate concern about potential job losses from allowable annual cut reductions and the resulting impacts on families and communities. They also express concern about the ability of the logging industry to adjust to numerous concurrent forest management changes.

Another submission suggests the current rate of harvest jeopardizes the economies of communities dependent on logging because it is unsustainable in the long term. This submission suggests people must accept changing job requirements.

An industry submission supports the consideration of the impacts on communities outside the Soo Timber Supply Area which rely on wood harvested within the timber supply area.

One submission indicates some of the statistics used in the Socio-Economic Analysis may not be correct or are incomplete:

An industry submission suggests the linear relationship between job loss and declines in harvest rates used in the Socio-Economic Analysis is not likely to predict actual outcomes. A more realistic approach is to estimate threshold effects and the corresponding consolidation that will inevitably take place.

One submission states that the impacts of the 1992 allowable annual cut reduction of 18 per cent has yet to be felt and that the Socio-Economic Analysis does not indicate what the associated job losses will be, or how the effects will accumulate in the event of future reductions. It is suggested the Socio-Economic Analysis underestimates the impact of job loss to the community. Also, the Socio-Economic Analysis suggests, with unsupported claims, tourism and value-added manufacturing could replace lost forestry jobs.

An industry submission also draws attention to the potential for cumulative reductions in the coastal timber supply areas to nearby coastal sawmills. While the submission acknowledges that analyzing this cumulative effect is beyond the scope of the Socio-Economic Analysis, it suggests consideration be given to this potential broader impact.

One person suggests offsetting additional reductions in harvest levels with a value versus volume focus guiding forest management. Furthermore, initiatives should be implemented to reach this goal.

Several submissions acknowledge the potential of the Forest Renewal Plan to offset projected job losses.

One respondent states that the Forest Renewal Plan is an unsustainable foundation for building a stable economy.

Two individuals suggest more of the timber harvested in the Soo Timber Supply Area should be processed within the area.

One industry submission suggests environmental impacts of cut reductions are overestimated in the Socio-Economic Analysis and predictions of reduced diversity are inaccurate: "the Soo Timber Supply Area has 18 per cent set aside as parkland and the Timber supply area will be managed for a variety of age classes. The report's comments in regards to the spotted owl are premature."

Another submission stresses the importance of preserving intact ecosystems to the well-being of future generations.

Several people suggest that tourism will continue to increase and that a relatively undisturbed natural environment is an important factor in drawing tourists.

One respondent states that the Socio-Economic Analysis should have considered the potential negative economic impacts on forest based tourism if the allowable annual cut is not immediately reduced.

Two people suggest economic objectives are the primary consideration and that a strong forest economy is necessary to provide social benefits. One suggests tourism cannot replace forestry jobs and income as there is worldwide competition for tourism dollars and a lack of control over the value of the Canadian dollar in world money markets.

Another submission suggests striving for an equitable move from existing harvest levels to a long-term sustainable level, recognizing that socially and economically it will take time to achieve a balance between all uses of the forest, and that we must be careful not to preclude other present and future uses of the forest.

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