Old-growth forests lower climate risks for surrounding communities

The climate crisis is bringing droughts, flooding and fires to B.C. communities. Did you know that logging B.C.’s last old-growth forests will make these impacts even worse? But the provincial government has not considered this fact in their Climate Risk Assessment, much less taken action. This presents a major blind spot that could leave communities defenceless in the midst of the climate crisis.

Global heating is putting the health and safety of communities in danger, and clearcut logging is making things worse. Clearcutting exacerbates heatwaves and increases the number and size of forest fires. It also increases the risk of flooding, erosion and landslides.

Read SCBC’s report on reducing community climate risks through forest protection and a paradigm shift in forest management. 

In contrast, old intact forests support ecosystem function and resilience, lowering climate risks for surrounding communities.

This means the province can mitigate climate related disasters like flooding, droughts, fires and heatwaves by protecting and restoring intact forests before the climate crisis worsens. The steps to do this are laid out in the Old Growth Strategic Review recommendations, which Premier John Horgan committed to implement last fall. But the B.C. government has yet to provide the necessary funding or a timetable for how they will live up to this commitment.

For the safety of communities across B.C., please add your voice today to make sure B.C.’s forests minister, Katrine Conroy, commits to an immediate deferral to logging in at-risk old-growth forests, while implementing and fully funding all 14 recommendations made by the Old Growth Strategic Review.

We are entering a new era of climate emergency. By adapting forest management, we can mitigate many of the risks. We have the opportunity to transition to a more sustainable model of forestry and build more resilient communities. However, time is running out, and these threats will only increase in magnitude with further warming and logging of intact forest.

Your letter will be sent to B.C.’s Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Katrine Conroy and cc’d to the Minister of State for Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Nathan Cullen; Premier John Horgan; Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman; and your local MLA.

Call on the B.C. government to reform forestry practices!