September 2023 marked the three-year anniversary of BC’s Old-Growth promises

B.C.’s Old Growth Strategic Review (OGSR) was a leap forward in our thinking about forests. The OGSR science panel produced 14 recommendations that, together, will shift the paradigm of forest management from clear-cut logging for short-term profit to protection and stewardship for long-term benefit to communities. In the fall of 2020, the B.C. government committed to implementing all 14 of those recommendations within the panel’s three-year framework

We see important outcomes of the OGSR process: First Nations have worked with the provincial government to defer logging of a portion of the most at-risk old growth; a Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health legal framework is under development; and B.C. has committed to protecting 30% of the land by 2030. The groundwork is being laid. But there is no doubt that achieving meaningful protection and a true paradigm shift requires much more work. 

The next steps are crucial, and we want the provincial government to get the message from concerned communities across B.C. We must work together and with urgency to ensure the survival of forests and the communities who depend on them.  

  • At-risk old-growth forests need deferrals as quickly as possible, with funding to First Nations to offset lost forestry revenues 
  • Deferrals must be made permanent through short and long-term conservation funding and financing. This is imperative to take the pressure off First Nations, who often depend on logging revenue and should be supported to develop new economic opportunities.  
  • Funding and protected areas that are tied to science-based targets, to ensure the most at-risk forests and species are protected.  
  • Transparent and detailed information on logging deferrals as well as logging amounts and locations. 

The double whammy of industrial logging and climate impact means that intact forests are shrinking faster, and the recovery of damaged forests becomes even harder as clearcuts and young trees cannot withstand severe heat, drought and disease. The survival of forests is in doubt in these areas, making it even more urgent and critical to save what’s left of primary and old-growth forest landscapes. 

Please add your voice today to make sure the B.C. government accelerates action to protect old-growth forests. Your letter goes directly to B.C.’s Minister of Forests, Bruce Ralston, and Premier Eby, with cc’s to B.C.’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman, and the Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship, Nathan Cullen. 


Photos by TJ Watt/Ancient Forest Alliance