Estimated square metres of old-growth rainforest area clearcut on Vancouver Island since large-scale logging began:
That’s nearly two soccer fields per hour! Only about 10% of the biggest trees are still standing.
B.C.’s old-growth and communities are in crisis. Raw log exports are at a record high and mills are closing. Climate change and massive forest fires are here to stay. But we are still clearcutting our most resilient and carbon rich forests at an alarming rate.
Our new provincial government made a commitment to sustainably manage B.C.’s spectacular rivers, lakes, watersheds, forests and old-growth trees.
This is a welcome step. Now it’s time for action—before it’s too late.
Sierra Club BC’s map State of Vancouver Island’s Coastal Temperate Rainforest shows the scarce remaining endangered old-growth rainforest ecosystems and recent old-growth destruction on Vancouver Island.
The science is clear: to sustainably manage coastal rainforests we must stop clearcutting endangered old-growth. B.C. needs a provincial Old-Growth Protection Act using elements of the celebrated Great Bear Rainforest Agreements combined with strong support for First Nations and good long term forestry jobs.
We also need an immediate halt to logging in critical intact old-growth hotspots. This will protect magnificent areas like the Central Walbran that are immediately threatened with destruction.
Taking these steps will help us to:
–Protect globally rare ecosystems, wildlife, water and climate
–Strengthen First Nations’ governance and community well-being
–Transition from old-growth logging to sustainable second-growth forestry
B.C.’s coastal temperate rainforests are among the rarest ecosystems on the planet, but today only 10 per cent of Vancouver Island’s biggest old-growth trees are still standing. Because of climate change, these forests will never grow back as we knew them—if we cut them, they’ll be gone forever.
Please tell Forests Minister Doug Donaldson that you support strong action to benefit B.C.’s forests and communities.
*Using logging data and age class information Sierra Club BC estimates the total number of hectares of old-growth logged on Vancouver Island at about 1,708,000 hectares (without including original forests lost to deforestation, e.g. urban areas). More than 10,000 hectares of old-growth got logged in the last 12 months alone, equivalent to more than 3 square meters per second. Today, the vast majority of the remaining old-growth on the Island belongs to ecosystems with smaller trees not targeted for logging (for example along the outer coast or in higher elevations). Only about 10 percent of the biggest trees remain standing. For more information, check out our backgrounder.
Help us inspire generations to defend nature and confront climate change, so families, communities and the natural world can prosper together.