Sierra Club BC response to BC Forestry Alliance statement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 15, 2020
Sierra Club BC is deeply committed to honesty, integrity and accuracy. BC Forestry Alliance recently released a statement falsely accusing us of “relying on misstated facts and selectively omitting key information in a crass attempt to sway voters against forestry during the current B.C. election campaign.”
The BC Forestry Alliance takes issue with our claim that 500 plus soccer fields’ worth of old-growth are being clearcut every day across the province. We stand by this claim. Using provincial government data (Vegetation Resources Inventory and Consolidated Cutblocks) we found that 1,917,827 hectares of old-growth were logged between 2005 and 2017. This means an average of 147,525 hectares were logged per year, equaling on average more than 400 hectares per day. Soccer fields are commonly 0.714 hectares in size, meaning you could fit more than 500 soccer fields into the 400 hectares of old-growth that are logged per day across B.C. This the most recent data we have, and we have no indications that the rate of logging has changed in the last few years.
Sierra Club BC (SCBC) includes forests that are 140 to 250 years old in our mapping and data for the coastal region because these forests have most of the features of old-growth stands older than 250 years. As big trees older than 250 years become increasingly rare, trees aged 140 to 250 years become more important to protect as remaining habitat for old-growth dependent species like marbled murrelets and spotted owls. For the interior region, both SCBC and the province consider forests older than 140 years to be old-growth. Interior old-growth includes some very big trees, such as in the inland temperate rainforest, as well as smaller trees that also have high ecological values.
Very little of the last endangered old-growth ecosystems remain across the province, in both the coast and in the Interior. And much of what remains is rapidly being logged. We are facing an ecological crisis brought on by unsustainable practices that are putting our environment and the livelihood of communities at risk. Too much of the last intact, resilient and at risk old-growth forests is being logged, across the province. Within the context of respect for Indigenous law and jurisdiction, Sierra Club BC will continue to support efforts to protect the ecosystems, salmon, animals and communities that depend on these forests.
Gorley, A., Merkel, G. (2020). A NEW FUTURE FOR OLD FORESTS: A Strategic Review of How British Columbia Manages for Old Forests Within its Ancient Ecosystems
Wieting, J., Laversee, D. (2019). Clarcut Carbon: A Sierra Club BC report on the future of forests in British Columbia
Price, K., Holt, R. and Daust, D. (2020). BC’s Old Growth Forest: A Last Stand for Biodiversity https://veridianecological.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/bcs-old-growth-forest-report-web.pdf