Old-growth forests lower climate risks for communities

The climate crisis is bringing more severe flooding, droughts and fires to B.C. communities. Did you know that logging B.C.’s last old-growth forests will make these impacts even worse?

While the BC government shared new data confirming the old-growth emergency and announced their intention to defer logging across 2.6 million hectares of at-risk old-growth forests, the vast majority of these areas are still without interim protection. Making things worse, the province has still not made any specific funding commitments to enable Indigenous-led conservation solutions and support forestry workers through the transition.

Global heating is putting the health and safety of communities in danger, and clearcut logging—particularly of old-growth forests—is making things worse. Clearcutting increases the risk of flooding, erosion and landslides. It also exacerbates heat waves and increases the number and size of forest fires.

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 former Premier John Horgan committed to implement in the fall of 2020.

For the safety of communities across B.C., please add your voice today to make sure B.C.’s forests minister, Katrine Conroy, takes the necessary steps for immediate interim protection for all 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 protecting forests and 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 forests.

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 David Eby; Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman; and your local MLA.

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