Farewell, and not goodbye: Bob Peart

By Executive Director Bob Peart

March 31, 2017

When I was hired by Sierra Club BC 3.5 years ago, I was excited to work with a key environmental group at such a critical time. Sierra Club BC was rightly seen as a leader in the movement – from our respectful approach to advocacy and our belief in science to our award winning environmental education programs and the vital role we play in the energy, forest and climate conversation. I was not disappointed. And we have delivered – from the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements and protecting big old trees to speaking out to keep tankers off the coast; and from putting the outrageous Site C dam proposal on the public radar to getting thousands of school-aged children back outside.

As many of you know, by the time you read this note I will no longer be Executive Director. My route to Sierra Club BC was through a 40-year role as an advocate for nature, combined with a deep passion for experiencing firsthand the smells and sounds of the wildlife and plants that surround us. Post-Sierra Club BC, my journey will continue.  I will remain involved in the conservation movement as long as I am able – putting my energy toward defending nature, moving off a carbon-based economy and reminding people that their health is directly linked to a healthy environment.

I am often asked: where do I get my optimism and why, given the degradation to the planet we see every day, do you keep working so hard to protect it? My answer is that I get my hope and optimism from people like you – our donors and supporters who believe in the good work we do. And like me, you refuse to give up and you continue to demand that the communities where we live are healthy, and provide a lifestyle that is truly sustainable and leaves no one behind.

I thank you for your confidence in Sierra Club BC, and please continue to support the good work we do through your donations.

Bob Peart

East Creek investigation finds clearcutting rare intact old-growth on Vancouver Island in compliance with laws, highlighting B.C. government failure to protect endangered rainforest

Investigation also finds company in non-compliance with making information public

March 30, 2017

The BC government’s Forest Practices Board (FPB) released its findings today regarding Sierra Club BC’s May 2016 complaint about Lemare Lake Logging Ltd. logging practices in the East Creek area. East Creek is located adjacent to the Mquqᵂin – Brooks Peninsula Provincial Park, in Kwakwaka’wakw territory and forms part of the largest remaining contiguous ancient rainforest on northern Vancouver Island.

East Creek logging. Photo by TJ Watt.

Sierra Club BC visited East Creek in the fall of 2015 and documented the devastation of ancient rainforest, including the use of blasting charges, in an area known as important habitat for salmon, marbled murrelet and northern goshawk and important First Nations cultural values, leading to the complaint and investigation.

“The scope and scale of the ancient rainforest destruction in this incredible watershed is unimaginable. They were logging more than one Cathedral Grove in the last two years alone,” said Mark Worthing, Sierra Club BC’s Forests & Biodiversity Campaigner. “The liquidation of East Creek’s ancient rainforest is being permitted for government revenue in form of stumpage fees between $0.33 and $1.33 per cubic meter. This is a terribly short-sighted decision.”

The FPB investigation considered two questions: whether the licensee complied with the Forest Range Practices Act (FRPA) and the Vancouver Island Land Use Plan (VILUP) and whether the licensee provided the complainant with reasonable access to site plans (SPs). The Board concluded that the licensee complied with FRPA and VILUP while conducting its operations. On the second question, the Board concluded that the licensee did not provide the complainant with reasonable access to SPs “on request at any reasonable time” as required by FRPA.

Old-growth tree being exploded at Lemare Lake operations.

“British Columbians have the right to know what’s happening in the forests around us, yet it took us six months to access the information the public is legally entitled to. This makes it impossible for the public to document ecological and cultural values that could be at risk as a result of proposed logging. We’ll be waiting to see what action the government takes to respond to this violation of FRPA,” said Worthing.

Sierra Club BC is very concerned but not surprised about the conclusion of the FPB that East Creek logging is in compliance with FRPA and VILUP. “The East Creek investigation confirms what we feared: while blasting roads and clearcutting approximately 1,000 hectares of the last intact old-growth rainforest on Northern Vancouver Island in the last 10 years is inconsistent with good forest management practices, it is consistent with BC’s Forest Range Practices Act and the Vancouver Island Land Use Plan,” said Jens Wieting, Sierra Club BC’s Forest and Climate Campaigner. “Provincial laws and the Vancouver Island land use plan are failing to protect forest integrity and we urgently need additional protection and improved forest management to safeguard the web of life as we know it.”

East Creek is located in the Klaskish landscape unit – the area in light green north of the Protected Brooks Peninsula. It is the only unprotected landscape unit with close to 70 percent remaining productive old-growth rainforest on Northern Vancouver Island.

There is growing support for protecting the remaining endangered old-growth rainforest and shifting to sustainable second-growth forestry on Vancouver Island, including from municipalities, chambers of commerce and a number of First Nations and unions. Sierra Club BC warned in 2016 that a 12 percent increase in the annual old-growth logging rate on the island (recently at 9,000 hectares per year) will lead to an ecological and economic collapse.

The most productive types of rainforest ecosystems, with the biggest trees, unique habitat and tourism values are now in their single digits of remaining old-growth. At the same time second-growth forests are being clearcut at a young age, often at less than 60 or 80 years, allowing no recovery of old-growth characteristics across vast areas on Vancouver Island.

“The East Creek investigation shows everything that is wrong with rainforest conservation and management on Vancouver Island – BC’s forestry regulation has no consideration of how little intact rainforest is left on the island and there is no legal impediment to logging the last old-growth trees outside of protected areas.” said Wieting.

The East Creek investigation makes clear that we have no regulatory framework to protect the last of the last remaining intact coastal temperate rainforest,” said Wieting. “Whoever forms the next government has their work cut out to prevent the unfolding ecological and economic catastrophe on the island. We need a moratorium to safeguard biodiversity hotspots as new protected areas and new conservation tools to set aside critical endangered rainforest stands and habitat aside across the landscape.”

A 2015 Sierra Club BC mapping analysis showed East Creek on the northern island and the Walbran on the southern island as the only two remaining largely intact unprotected landscapes, with a percentage of productive old-growth rainforest close to the threshold indicating low ecological risk (70%). These remaining intact areas are critical ecological stepstones between the Great Bear Rainforest, Clayoquot Sound and Pacific Rim National Park.

Solutions for healthy forests and healthy communities similar to those developed in the Great Bear Rainforest are needed along the entire B.C. coast, not just one part of it. East Creek and the Central Walbran are among the most important examples of intact, unprotected, productive coastal old-growth on Vancouver Island that need immediate action or will be lost forever.

Sierra Club BC supports sustainable, second growth harvesting and local, value-added processing that creates a higher number of jobs per cubic metre, such that we can sustain healthy forest-based communities and local forestry jobs into the future.

Further information on Lemare Lake’s East Creek logging operations:

Covert logging of old-growth on Vancouver Island must be stopped

Timeline of Sierra Club BC attempts to view Lemare Lake Logging’s site plans for its East Creek operations

Richard Boyce short film in East Creek

It’s time for the BC government to curb raw log exports and boost value-added forestry jobs

February 27

Between 2013 and 2016, more raw logs were shipped from BC than during any other four-year period in the province’s history, prompting two forest industry unions and three leading environmental groups to call for a ban on raw log exports from old-growth forests and bold government action to stimulate BC’s flagging forest sector.

Raw log exports. Photo by TJ Watt.

The call follows new research released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ BC Office (CCPA-BC) that shows how exports of raw, unprocessed logs are surging. If these logs were processed in some of BC’s hardest hit forestry communities, at least 3,600 new jobs could be generated.

Last year, BC forest companies exported enough raw logs to frame nearly 134,000 homes, which equals roughly half of  Vancouver’s standing single-family homes. Instead of creating thousands of good-paying jobs in rural communities, logs are exported in raw form.

The Public and Private Workers of Canada along with UNIFOR (Canada’s largest private sector union), the Ancient Forest Alliance, Sierra Club BC and the Wilderness Committee say the Province should enact a bold three-point plan to curb exports and stimulate jobs:

  1. Place an immediate ban on all exports of raw logs from old-growth forests.
  2. Immediately impose progressively higher taxes on log exports from second-growth forests to encourage investment in domestic mills.
  3. Introduce new policies to increase value-added forest manufacturing and jobs in rural and First Nations communities.

Four years of log export data analyzed by the CCPA-BC uncovered a number of disturbing trends in log exports from BC:

  • Between 2013 and 2016, nearly 26 million cubic meters of raw logs, with a combined sales value of more than $3 billion, were shipped from BC – more than any other four-year period since record keeping began.
  • More than one in three logs exported in the past five years came from BC’s centuries-old coastal old-growth rainforests
  • Most log exports in the past five years came from public lands under direct provincial control, not from private lands where the BC government has no jurisdiction, which is a sharp reversal from previous norms.

Vancouver Island rainforest. Photo by Charly Caproff.

Sierra Club BC is working toward solutions for healthy rainforests and healthy communities and worked with the BC government, First Nations and stakeholders on implementation of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements. Regional models like the Ecosystem-Based Management framework in the Great Bear Rainforest must be complemented with coherent province-wide conservation, climate and economic policies to ensure forestry can contribute jobs as part of a diverse, low carbon economy. For more information, please read our ten-point plan for transition toward this vision in our report, The Future is Here.

Please donate today to support our work protecting BC’s ancient and endangered old-growth forests.

Feature image by TJ Watt.


Victory: We stopped Enbridge for good!

By Caitlyn Vernon

November 30, 2016

Thanks to you and so many more like you all over the province, we did it!

After years of tireless, selfless struggle—organizing, marching, petitioning, writing submissions and speaking at NEB hearings, getting spied on by our own government’s security apparatus, raising funds for First Nations legal challenges, you name it—we finally got what we were so passionately demanding: the end of Enbridge.

This particular fight is finally over. For good. The Northern Gateway pipeline will not get built. Supertankers filled with diluted bitumen won’t sail through the Douglas Channel and threaten the jewel that is the Great Bear Rainforest. The risk of ecological and economic catastrophe that Enbridge posed has been avoided and we can all take a deep breath of relief. (Prime Minister Trudeau intends to legislate a tanker ban for the north coast. We will work to ensure the legislation is as strong as possible, so that we don’t have to fight any similar tanker proposals in the future.)

Our salmon—and the northern economy that depends on them—are now safer, as are the spirit bears, the humpback whales and all the delicate ecosystems of the north coast.

This, my friends, is a legendary achievement. Take time to celebrate, to savour the taste of victory. Don’t let the government’s reckless, irresponsible approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline and the Petronas fracked gas plant undermine this victory – tomorrow we will work to stop Kinder Morgan and Petronas, today we celebrate!

To every one of Sierra Club BC’s incredible supporters: thank you. To every one of you who contributed to Pull Together: thank you. To the communities along the pipeline and tanker route who led the way for so many years: thank you. To every one of our friends and allies: thank you.
And most especially, to every one of the First Nations who stood resolute and strong in the face of the wealth and might of corporate and government power: thank you.

In particular, I want to name the Heiltsuk, Gitga’at, Gitxaala, Haida, Kitasoo-Xai’xais, Nadleh Whut’en, and Nak’azdli Nations, whose court cases overturned the federal approval of Enbridge and whose precedent will push governments in the right direction for years to come.

It was a privilege to witness their courage and determination and to support them (along with RAVEN Trust) through the Pull Together initiative, which raised more than $600,000 for legal costs. Theirs was true leadership and their example has shown us a path to victory in the coming fight to stop Kinder Morgan.

I believe that when historians look back at the death of the Enbridge pipeline, they will come to see it as the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era in British Columbia.

There’s still much work to be done. Clearly, we have a federal government that doesn’t understand you can’t be a climate leader and build pipelines. Clearly, our provincial government, with its obsession with liquefied fracked gas, still doesn’t get it.

But this was a landmark moment, make no mistake.

History is on our side. The end of fossil fuels is inevitable. The only question is when we are not just celebrating the end of a pipeline, but the end of an era.

The Enbridge victory, above all, gives me hope. It shows the power of everyday people. It shows what we can achieve when we come together. It shows the path to the kind of future we all want: one powered by truly clean, renewable energy; one that respects nature and lives within her limits; one that respects indigenous governance; and one that makes sure no one is left behind by a post-carbon world.

Take some time to celebrate! Just look what we can do, when we stand together. I am filled with hope for what we will do next. We stopped one pipeline, we can stop another one.

Sierra Club BC statement on BC Opposition proposal to ban trophy hunting of grizzly bears


November 25, 2016

Sierra Club BC’s campaigns director Caitlyn Vernon released the following statement in response to the provincial NDP’s pledge to implement a ban on the trophy hunting of grizzly bears:

“Sierra Club BC advocates an end to the trophy hunt of grizzly bears. We recognize and respect the ban on trophy hunting of grizzly bears that First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest have already implemented in their territories.

“We commend the announcement from the BC Opposition that they will ban the trophy hunting of grizzly bears. Killing bears for sport is wasteful, opposed by a strong majority of British Columbians, and bad for our economy. These bears are worth more to our economy alive than dead.

“While their announcement will require a significant investment in monitoring and enforcement, in order to ensure trophy hunters don’t simply pretend to hunt for food, the announcement is an important step in the right direction and, if implemented, is good news for these majestic bears.”

For more information on the importance of a trophy hunting ban, visit



Caitlyn Vernon

Director of Campaigns, Sierra Club BC

(250) 386 5255

Bella Bella Disaster a Reminder of the Need for a Strong Tanker Ban

The recent sinking of the Nathan E. Stewart tug near Bella Bella in the Great Bear Rainforest has underscored the urgency of a permanent, legislated oil tanker ban. Accidents happen and this disaster is a sobering reminder that oil spills are impossible to clean up.

Response crews took over 20 hours to arrive and the spill has still not been contained three weeks later. Beaches remain soaked with diesel and littered with debris. Clean-up efforts have been sluggish and greatly hampered by storms, which have caused containment booms to fail.

Members of the Heiltsuk Nation have consistently described the spill response as “totally inadequate.” Their nation’s waters have been polluted with hundreds of thousands of litres of diesel fuel. Their clam and seafood beds are closed indefinitely, costing them tens of thousands of dollars in the short-term as well as long-term damage to their economy. Video updates and ways to support can be found on the Heiltsuk Tribal Council’s Facebook page.


A contaminated beach leaches diesel back into the marine environment. Photo by Kyle Artelle.

Although many may see this as a relatively small spill, it has already and will continue to have a disproportionate impact on the Heiltsuk. Sierra Club BC and many other organizations stand in solidarity with the Heiltsuk Nation, who are now caught between a provincial and a federal government too busy blaming each other to make any concrete policy changes that could prevent another devastating spill.

This is a heartbreaking nightmare. Trudeau needs to wake up and take his election commitments for a tanker ban and for a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples seriously.

The Heiltsuk Nation are calling for an immediate implementation of a full and complete tanker ban. A strong tanker ban is the only sure way to protect B.C.’s coastal waters and wild salmon economy from a devastating oil spill. The federal government is about to make an announcement on a federal tanker moratorium, and we need to ensure it is strong, permanent, and legislated by Parliament.

That’s why we’ve set up an action centre where you can submit a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Garneau. Please send a message calling on them to implement a strong tanker ban on B.C.’s coast.

Coastal First Nations already have a ban on oil tankers, using their own laws. It’s about time we joined them to help put an end to Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline and tankers project. Please donate to help us continue this fight.


Cover image of diesel-soaked beach by Kyle Artelle.

B.C. Groups Win Prestigious Buckminster Fuller Design Award for Role in Safeguarding Great Bear Rainforest

Fuller Challenge Award 2016 goes to Rainforest Solutions Project, a project of Tides Canada Initiative with Greenpeace, and Sierra Club BC

October 5, 2016

Vancouver, BC – British Columbia’s Rainforest Solutions Project (a project of Tides Canada) with member groups Greenpeace, (formerly ForestEthics) and Sierra Club BC has won the Buckminster Fuller Institute’s (BFI) Fuller Challenge Award for their role in crafting and implementing solutions for the recently finalized Great Bear Rainforest Agreements. The BFI is a prestigious cross-disciplinary academy dedicated to solving global problems through design-thinking education. This $100,000 award specifically recognizes the innovation in complex process design that the three member organizations worked collectively and collaboratively to develop.

For over fifteen years the three groups worked together with the forest industry, First Nations governments and the Government of British Columbia to troubleshoot barriers and develop solutions for safeguarding the Great Bear Rainforest. The outcome is a new legal and policy framework that concurrently advances First Nations governance and economic aspirations over their territories, high levels of conservation, and logging activity which respects nature’s limits.

Eighty-five per cent (3.1 million hectares) of the region’s coastal temperate rainforests will be permanently off limits to industrial logging. The remaining 15 per cent (550,000 hectares) will be subject to the most stringent legal standards for commercial logging operations in North America.

“Thank you to the Fuller Challenge for believing in our collective work to help safeguard this spectacular region, home to more than two dozen Indigenous communities who have stewarded their traditional lands since time immemorial. This award further validates our solutions model for large-scale forest conservation, uplifting Indigenous rights and fighting climate change,” says Greenpeace’s Eduardo Sousa. “ We’ve learned that breakthroughs are possible, but only through constructive dialogue and steadfast collaboration. We believe what has been achieved here in the Great Bear Rainforest can inspire other forest regions facing their own challenges.”

“Everywhere we look we see the environment, the economy and Indigenous people pitted against each other. It’s not a coincidence, it’s systemic. The model of management now operating in the Great Bear required prying open that system and then inventing what would replace it”, says Valerie Langer with (formerly ForestEthics). “It took villages to do so and our unwavering dedication to see the change through multiple scales across multiple jurisdictions.”

The Fuller Challenge Selection Committee noted that by collaborating and innovating solutions with Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments and industry, the Rainforest Solutions Project member organizations demonstrated “the importance of large-scale and long-term comprehensive design thinking.”

“This award is a big motivator for us to build on the Great Bear Rainforest solutions. What has been accomplished offers us a compass to guide us toward solving similar conflicts elsewhere: science-based decision-making, aligning with nature’s limits, respecting Indigenous rights, and collaboration between governments and stakeholders. This is the approach we must pursue globally and with urgency, to save the life-support system of our planet, the web of life and our own species.” says Jens Wieting, Sierra Club BC.

The Rainforest Solutions Project’s members Greenpeace, Sierra Club BC and together with Coastal First Nations-Great Bear Initiative, Nanwakolas Council, the Government of British Columbia, BC Timber Sales, Catalyst Paper, Howe Sound Pulp & Paper, International Forest Products and Western Forest Products, worked hard to move from conflict to a shared outcome rooted in 15 years of collaboration and negotiation. As of February 2016, the vision for conservation and community well-being committed to in 2006 is now underway with legal and policy agreements.

– 30-

Media Contacts:

Tim Pearson, 250.896.1556,

Eduardo Sousa, 778-378-9955,

Valerie Langer, 604-307-6448,

Read more about the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements

Feature image by Andrew S. Wright

Sierra Club BC wins prestigious award

Sierra Club BC is proud to announce that we have been awarded one of the most prestigious international environmental awards for our work on the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements.

Great Bear Rainforest Agreement partners receive Sierra Club US’s 2016 EarthCare Award


September 9, 2016

First Nations governments, the B.C. government and a group of environmental organizations and forestry companies will tomorrow receive the 2016 EarthCare Award from Sierra Club US. With 2.4 million members, Sierra Club US is one of the largest environmental organizations in North America (and independent from Sierra Club BC and Sierra Club Canada).

The EarthCare award honours individuals or organizations that have made a unique contribution to international environmental protection and conservation.

The Great Bear Rainforest is one of the largest remaining relatively intact temperate rainforest areas of the world.   Fulfilment of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements was announced February 1, 2016 in Vancouver. Eighty-five percent of the remote wilderness region’s coastal temperate rainforests are now permanently off-limits to industrial logging. The remaining 15 percent of the forest are subject to the most stringent commercial logging legal standards in North America. First Nations oversight of their lands has been strengthened and new community development opportunities negotiated as a result of the government-to-government implementation process.

“The loss of biodiversity and natural ecosystems is a global crisis, and the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements are offering us a precedent-setting conservation model the world can learn from,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “These Agreements show us how to achieve an economy that respects both indigenous rights and nature’s limits.”

The Great Bear Rainforest Agreements protect biodiversity, help mitigate climate change, support improved community well-being, and provide a level of economic certainty to the forestry sector. The Agreements are considered a milestone for collaboration between indigenous and non-indigenous governments, environmental organizations and forestry companies.

“The Great Bear Rainforest is a global treasure and now that it is set aside, it will be a landscape of hope where economic activity can occur without undermining the environment,” said Bob Peart, executive director of Sierra Club BC. “The Agreements provide an astonishing example of land use planning that balances many important values.”

After years of intense conflict, collaboration and negotiation, the new model of conservation management is informed by science, First Nations rights over their lands, and stakeholder input. The goal of this unique conservation approach is to maintain healthy forests and high levels of community well-being across the entire 6.4 million hectare Great Bear Rainforest, an area larger than Nova Scotia.

The Agreements were announced by indigenous alliances Coastal First Nations and Nanwakolas Council and the province of British Columbia, with the support of three environmental groups—Sierra Club BC, Greenpeace and (formerly ForestEthics)—and five companies as stakeholder groups (Interfor, Western Forest Products, BC Timber Sales, Catalyst Paper and Howe Sound Pulp and Paper).

All parties involved are committed to Annual Monitoring reports and a five-year and ten-year review mechanism.


For more information about the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements:



Tim Pearson

Director of Communications, Sierra Club BC



Image by Jens Wieting

Sierra Club BC’s Google Earth Tool Shows Vancouver Island Old-growth in State of Emergency

September 28, 2016 – Eighty per cent of delegates attending the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention have passed a motion to protect old-growth forests on Vancouver Island from logging. They have further resolved that the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) write to the BC government calling for an amendment to the Vancouver Island Land Use Plan to protect the remaining old-growth forest on provincial Crown land. Sierra Club BC campaigns director made the following statement on the resolution:

“We commend and support all of the municipal leaders, business leaders, and community champions who are speaking up for the ecological and economic values of big old trees. Today’s vote shows that communities all across this province understand that Vancouver Island’s remaining old-growth rainforest is a global treasure, and that its protection is a provincial responsibility.

We will continue to work together with our allies to protect Vancouver Island’s remaining old-growth rainforest, and call on the provincial government to update the Vancouver Island land use plan to include consideration of climate impacts and Aboriginal title and rights.”

Sierra Club BC’s Google Earth Tool Shows Vancouver Island Old-growth in State of Emergency

We have developed a Google Earth file, that shows old-growth coastal rainforest has reached a state of ecological emergency across vast parts of Vancouver Island and B.C.’s South Coast. (See below for instructions on how to use the file.)

The Google Earth file, which can be studied with free Google Earth software, shows how little ancient forest is left as a result of decades of industrial logging.

The Google Earth file reveals that almost half (46 per cent) of the landscape units now have less than 30 per cent of productive old-growth remaining.  (Landscape units are areas of land used for long-term forest planning, usually 50,000 to 100,000 hectares.) Seventeen per cent of the landscape units have less than 10 per cent productive old-growth rainforest remaining.

Large part of the Walbran remains intact. Photo by TJ Watt

Large part of the Walbran remains intact.
Photo by TJ Watt

Experts consider 30 per cent the threshold for ‘high ecological risk’ of loss of species. With climate change exerting additional pressure, endangered species such as the Marbled Murrelet are experiencing compounding stresses and are threatened with extirpation or extinction.

Sierra Club BC is calling for immediate action by the provincial government to protect and restore endangered coastal rainforest ecosystems, before intensifying climate impacts like drought, wildfires and storms coupled with destructive logging practices further exacerbate pressure on ecosystems.

Remaining largely intact rainforest areas, such as the Central Walbran and the Klaskish River/East Creek need immediate conservation steps to save habitat for endangered species and restore second-growth forest to allow for connectivity.

Unless the provincial government changes course and protects what remains of our endangered old-growth, much of the southern coast could turn into an ecological wasteland this century. We must protect and restore our rainforests now, for species, for clean air, clean water, long term forestry jobs and as one of the world’s most efficient carbon sinks.

Photo by TJ Watt

How to use the Sierra Club BC Google Earth file

Explore how the software works, download and install the free version of Google Earth:

Download the Sierra Club BC Google Earth file.

Open the file and zoom into the 155 landscape units of Vancouver Island and South Coast (landscape units are areas of land used for long-term forest planning, usually 50,000 to 100,000 hectares).

The Google Earth file (and the Sierra Club BC map) shows the remaining percentage of productive old-growth for all landscape units on Vancouver Island and the South Coast. These are rainforest ecosystems that typically grow relatively big trees (good and medium productivity forest) and store record amounts of carbon, but are also of high interest for logging.


The file reveals that almost half (46 per cent) of the landscape units now have less than 30 per cent of productive old-growth remaining.  Seventeen per cent of the landscape units have less than 10 per cent productive old-growth rainforest remaining. For more information read our backgrounder.

If you click into one of the landscape units, a box shows up with the following information: name of the landscape unit, the total number of hectares of forest in it (some of the area could be non-forest like wetlands etc.), the number of hectares covered by productive forest (good and medium productivity), the number of hectares that remain old-growth, as well as the corresponding % value.

The Google Earth file also shows boundaries of parks (this allows to distinguish areas that are protected from unprotected areas within a landscape unit, for example in the Walbran). This layer can be found in the “Primary database”under “More” (second item; see lower left corner of the first screenshot on this page)

Here is an example:  The Walbran landscape unit contains 30,380 hectares of forest, 27,634 hectares are productive forest (good and medium productivity), 19,576 hectares remain old-growth (71%), which makes the Walbran landscape unit the only one remaining in the entire South Coast with this amount of productive, intact old-growth forest.

walbran screen

We can’t do this work without you! Please help us protect Vancouver Island’s last remaining old-growth.