A magnificent ancient red cedar in Avatar Grove.. (Photo by Mya Van Woudenberg/Sierra Club BC)

B.C.’s Old-Growth Forest: A Last Stand for Biodiversity

An independent report by Dr. Karen Price, Dr. Rachel Holt and Dave Daust

A new independent scientists’ report shows in detail how shockingly little is left of B.C.’s most endangered old-growth forests, in particular those with very big trees. Of the little that remains, only a small fraction is protected from logging.

Specifically, they found that only about eight percent (approximately 415,000 hectares) of the original extent of these original forests with big trees remain as old-growth today across the province. In the case of those forests with very big old trees, only about three percent remain today (approximately 35,000 hectares).

The authors also found that many old-growth management areas, created to protect old-growth forests, do not actually contain old forest.

In the last 100 years of industrial logging, we’ve lost almost all of the old-growth forests with big trees that have existed for thousands of years. With this lost legacy, we’re also risking the health our communities as these old-growth ecosystems provide clean air, fresh drinking water and protection from disasters like wildfires, droughts and floods.

Sierra Club BC supports the report authors in calling on the B.C. government to ‘stop the bleed’ and ‘immediately place a moratorium on logging in ecosystems and landscapes with very little old forest.’

Produced in June 2020 by Dr. Karen Price, Dr. Rachel Holt and Dave Daust

Featured photo: Mya Van Woudenberg/Sierra Club BC