Right now, the BC government is seeking public feedback on how it can better manage old-growth forests as part of its Old Growth Strategic Review. An independent, two-person panel is accepting public feedback via written submissions and an online questionnaire until Friday, January 31st 2020 and will report to the premier and cabinet by the end of April 2020.
This is a rare and critical opportunity for us to call for a science-based plan to protect BC’s endangered old-growth forests.
With entire forest ecosystems and the species they support being pushed further to the brink of extinction under BC’s destructive forest policies, it’s time for sweeping changes that put biodiversity, the climate, and the long-term wellbeing of communities first.
Please take a moment to submit your feedback. Below are some suggested points you can include:
BC’s old-growth forests:
- Are complex ecosystems that have evolved over millennia and are home to some of the largest and oldest trees on Earth.
- Provide habitat for unique and threatened species, support clean water for communities and wild salmon, store more carbon per hectare than second-growth forests, are a pillar of BC’s multi-billion dollar tourism industry, and are important to many First Nations cultures.
- Are a non-renewable resource under BC’s system of forestry where second-growth forests are logged every 50-80 years, never to become old again.
- Are endangered in many parts of BC, particularly on the southwest coast, after over a century of industrial logging.
Under its proposed Old Growth Strategy, the BC government must:
- Implement an ecosystem-based approach to forest management, similar to the Great Bear Rainforest. This includes establishing higher, legally-binding old-growth protection targets, based on the latest science, to sustain the long-term ecological integrity of old-growth forest ecosystems.
- Support First Nations’ sustainable economic development and diversification, Indigenous land-use plans that protect old-growth forests, and the creation of Indigenous Protected Areas.
- Create a Natural Lands Acquisition Fund for the purchase and protection of endangered old-growth forests on private lands.
- Use its control over BC Timber Sales to quickly phase out old-growth logging in BCTS-controlled lands.
While the BC government develops its Old Growth Strategy:
- The BC government must take immediate action to halt logging in old-growth forest “hotspots” and BC’s most endangered forest ecosystems.