City of Nelson, British Columbia, opts to consider a 'made in Nelson' policy rather than join more than 30 municipalities supporting province's Wood First initiative

NELSON, British Columbia , January 11, 2012 () – The City of Nelson will not be joining over 30 BC municipalities who are part the province's Wood First Initiative.

The opportunity to join the other communities came up at Monday's city council meeting, but new councillor Candace Batycki presented an alternative recommendation in favour of a "made in Nelson" policy.

"I proposed instead that the City of Nelson look at creating our own wood use policy that rewards some of the local operators here who are truly sustainable and have gone to great lengths in some cases to have their operations certified sustainable by a third party," said Batycki - who has worked extensively on issues of sustainable forestry through the non-profit organization Forest Ethics.

Batycki and fellow councillor Paula Kiss both campaigned on issues of sustainability and Batycki said that a local wood policy helps maintain the integrity of the word sustainable.

"The word sustainable, nobody owns that word and it's very easy to claim that you're sustainable but if you don't have some expertise behind that claim then it's misleading for the public and that's why we have certification systems in this world like an organic label," she said.

Through a local wood policy, council reward local operations like Harrop-Procter community forest, the Slocan Integral Forestry Co-operative and even Tembec Industries in the East Kootenay.

Similar recommendations may be in the works from Batycki, but said that she wants to "keep it simple" for now.

"I would love us to have a wood policy and thats why I put this forward tonight," she said. "But I would also like us to have paper policy but I didn't see that as something I wanted to do in the first month of our mandate particularly but to have the wood first proposal gave me that opportunity."

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