Intact forests, safe communities

A report on reducing community climate risks through forest protection and a paradigm shift in forest management.

A new independent report commissioned by Sierra Club BC looks at the relationship between forest management and severe climate impacts expected across B.C. It shows that governments can mitigate climate-related disasters like flooding, droughts, fires and heatwaves by swiftly reforming B.C.’s forestry practices, applying Indigenous knowledge to forest-related decisions, and protecting and restoring intact forests before the climate crisis worsens.

Written by Dr. Peter Wood, the ‘Intact forests, safe communities’ report found that industrial logging has a significant impact on the severity and frequency of climate risks for B.C. communities. Of the 15 climate risks identified in B.C.’s 2019 Strategic Climate Risk Assessment, the majority are influenced by logging. The B.C. Climate Risk Assessment outlined how several of these risks have the potential to create catastrophic impacts.

B.C.’s assessment did not consider the ways that logging worsens climate risks, presenting a major blind spot that could undermine the effectiveness of the Province’s response to global heating. In order to support the health and safety of B.C. communities, it is critical that the BC Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy, now under development, include measures to protect intact forests and reform forestry practices. The best way to accomplish this is by implementing all of the recommendations from the 2020 Old Growth Strategic Review.

For a full list of references consulted, click here.

Produced in February 2021 by Dr. Peter Wood with support from Sierra Club BC.

Featured photo: TJ Watt/Ancient Forest Alliance