BC government: No pine beetle salvage logging in PAs

Protected areas are out of bounds for the forest industry despite the huge loss of timber to the mountain pine beetle, British Columbia Forests Minister Pat Bell said Tuesday.

Bell was responding to an industry proposal to re-consider some of the land-use decisions that have removed timber from the working forest.

The beetle's destruction, coupled with species-at-risk recovery strategies and other land-use changes are the prime cause of the Interior timber fall-down.

Bell said earlier this week that if the province does nothing in response to the beetle damage "there is a very real possibility that we will run out of trees."

But opening up land-use plans, is not an option, he said in an interview Tuesday.

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