Provincial policies are being blamed for job loss in rural communities.

There is a concern that not linking timber harvesting to processing lumber has led to mill closures in the Interior.

“I would like to see resources process where they are harvested,” said Hank Cameron, Cherryville director, at a Regional District of North Okanagan meeting Wednesday.

The sustained harvest yield for communities was scrapped a number of years ago.

“Since they took that away, the wood is spread across the country and we lost jobs,” said Cameron.

As an example, Cameron says trees cut down in Cherryville were processed in the Kootenays.

“None of our local people got any benefit,” he said.

Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director, heard similar concerns in Clearwater during a recent Southern Interior Local Government Association meeting.

“Truck loads of wood are going to Chilliwack and the closure of mills in that (North Thompson) corridor is amazing,” he said.

Macnabb insists government actions fly in the face of Victoria’s calls for economic development.

“Their policies are killing rural areas.”

Macnabb says there is a need for the government to revisit timber processing rules, but in the mean time, communities like Clearwater are trying to survive.

“They are desperately trying to envision what Clearwater looks like,” he said, adding that community is promoting its lifestyle.

“It’s targeting people who don’t want to live in Kelowna and Kamloops.”