Grab a pencil and come and draw coastal wolves with artist Julius Csotonyi! This creative online art lesson is perfect for all ages!
Join us as we tackle government and industry spin to shed a light on the current state of old-growth forests in B.C.
In this session, we’ll be learning to draw the small but mighty hummingbird with scientific illustrator Dr. Julius Csotonyi! Grab a pencil and join the fun!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2022
VICTORIA (Unceded Lekwungen Territories) – B.C. groups are releasing new evidence of ongoing logging and pending cut permits in proposed old growth deferral areas in the province.
Conservation North, Sierra Club BC, Stand.earth, Wilderness Committee, and Wildsight are calling on the province to immediately issue deferral orders for ongoing and planned logging in at-risk old growth forests, as well as to increase and expedite funding to First Nations and forest communities to support the transition from old growth logging.
In the absence of deferrals, cutting permits have recently been submitted for priority deferral areas in the Inland Temperate Rainforest. Wildsight has called on the province to immediately defer logging in 19 pending cutblocks from Downie Timber in the Wood River area north of Golden, which overlap important caribou habitat and old growth deferrals by more than 174 hectares.
“The Cutting Permit in the Wood River is a major test to the province’s public credibility on old growth,” said Eddie Petryshen, Conservation Specialist at Wildsight. “Deferring harvest and implementing legal deferrals here will set an important precedent for old growth protection.”
Upcoming research from Stand.earth Research Group (SRG) has identified multiple old growth deferral areas that were logged between March 2021 and March 2022, totalling an estimated 520 hectares of deferrals. Using satellite data from Planet Labs, this initial research, focused on Northern Vancouver Island and the Central Interior, found 43 deferral areas had been partially or mostly logged, including areas near 100 Mile House logged by West Fraser since November. In total, the study identified about 120 hectares of old growth logged after the province released maps of deferral areas on November 2, 2021.
“While Minister Katrine Conroy told us companies were acting in good faith, West Fraser and others continued to log old growth forests that had been marked for deferral,” said Tegan Hansen, Forest Campaigner at Stand.earth. “We cannot entrust the future of these irreplaceable forests to logging companies that profit from cutting them down.”
The logging identified in the initial research has overwhelmingly occurred in big-treed old growth forests (95%), one of three categories prioritized for logging deferrals by the province’s old growth Technical Advisory Panel (TAP). The majority of old growth forests mapped for deferral are in the B.C. interior, with many high-risk areas being in the Northern Wetbelt, an ecosystem ranked by scientists as Endangered under IUCN Red List criteria.
“We have evidence from satellite imagery that licensees have been clearcutting endangered northern old growth spruce forests in the Interior Wetbelt that were within deferral areas identified by the TAP,” said Michelle Connolly, Director of Conservation North.
On Northern Vancouver Island, Sierra Club BC confirmed ongoing destruction of the last productive big-tree old growth ecosystems remaining in Kwakwaka’wakw territory, using satellite and on-the-ground reconnaissance. Productive old-growth forests in the North Island have been disproportionately logged in past decades. This has resulted in an ecological emergency and requires government ground-truthing to confirm old-growth forests that require immediate deferral.
The Technical Advisory Panel mapped 5 million hectares of unprotected at-risk old-growth forests across B.C. and recommended 2.6 million hectares for immediate initial deferrals. Sierra Club BC found active and recent logging in at-risk old growth areas that should have been identified as candidates for immediate deferrals. Also new gates restricting public access to active logging operations in some of these at-risk old-growth deferral areas are cause for concern.
“Both Western Forest Products and BC Timber Sales are attempting to convince the public that they are forest stewards,” said Mark Worthing, Coastal Projects Lead at Sierra Club BC. “The reality is the opposite. Our findings suggest that unless the B.C. government respects Indigenous governance decisions and takes action now, both companies will continue to take advantage of every opportunity to log ancient cedars older than 500 years like the ones that we found last week.”
On Friday, April 1 Forests Minister Katrine Conroy presented new figures about the amount of old growth that has been recently deferred, and stressed that logging companies are acting in good faith to pause logging while the process unfolds. Conservation North, Sierra Club BC, Stand.earth, Wilderness Committee, and Wildsight welcome any progress to implement logging deferrals, but are calling for both more urgency and transparency around this process. In December the Wilderness Committee mapped approved cutblocks in tens of thousands of hectares of at-risk old-growth earmarked for deferral, and there is very little clarity on which of those areas remain under threat and which are deferred for now.
“The public has a right to know which endangered old growth are getting a temporary reprieve and which ones are getting destroyed,” said Torrance Coste, National Campaign Director for the Wilderness Committee. “The fate of these forests matters to everyone in the province and a true paradigm shift requires far more transparency from the BC NDP government.”
Ziona Eyob, Media Director – Canada, Stand.earth
+1 604-757-7279 (Pacific Time), firstname.lastname@example.org
Torrance Coste, National Campaign Director, Wilderness Committee
Eddie Petryshen, Conservation Specialist, Wildsight
Mark Worthing, Coastal Projects Lead, Sierra Club BC
Michelle Connolly, Conservation North
Featured image is an over 900-year-old tree that was logged in Kwakwaka’wakw territory right before the deferral maps were publicly released (Mya Van Woudenberg/Sierra Club BC).
In this session, we’ll be learning to draw the Greenland Shark with scientific illustrator Dr. Julius Csotonyi! Grab a pencil and join the fun!
Groups say B.C. government has failed to present plans to cut carbon pollution from the oil and gas sector or meet climate targets for 2025, 2040, and 2050.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2022
VANCOUVER/UNCEDED xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (MUSQUEAM), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (SQUAMISH) AND səlilwətaɬ (TSLEIL-WAUTUTH) TERRITORIES — Sierra Club BC, represented by environmental law charity Ecojustice, is suing the B.C. government for failing to present plans to achieve several key climate targets, as required by its own climate change legislation.
“Climate change is destroying lives and livelihoods in British Columbia now. After years of missed targets and broken promises, this law was meant to herald a new era of transparency and accountability in climate action. Instead, the government has failed to show us how it will meet its climate targets and broken its own laws in the process. When you fail to plan, you plan to fail; the people of British Columbia won’t tolerate any more climate failures,” said Alan Andrews, Climate Program Director at Ecojustice.
The Climate Change Accountability Act requires the government to publish annual reports on how it plans to make progress towards all its climate targets. The 2021 report falls woefully short, by failing to include a plan for the 2025, 2040 and 2050 climate targets. It also omits the government’s plan to cut carbon pollution from the oil and gas sector, which could rapidly grow in coming years – fueled largely by the B.C. government’s support for fracked gas.
“Accountability means accepting responsibility for one’s actions. The climate emergency leaves no room for error. After decades of failure, our window to take action to combat the climate crisis is rapidly closing. B.C.’s climate targets build on each other and achieving them depends on each sector meeting its target,” said Jens Wieting, Senior Forest and Climate Campaigner and Science Advisor at Sierra Club BC. “Without specific and detailed plans, the people of this province cannot trust that their government is serious about doing its part to combat the climate emergency.”
This failure undermines the B.C. government’s climate leadership credentials, falls foul of its legal commitments to transparency and accountability on climate action, and risks locking the province into a high carbon future.
“The public has a right to know if their government has a real plan to tackle the climate crisis”. Through this litigation, we intend to find out,” said Andrews.
The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in February showed that close to half of the world’s population is already exposed to increasingly dangerous climate impacts and that any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a livable future.
Canada is among the top ten global polluters and like Canada, British Columbia has failed to meet emission reduction targets for over a decade. B.C.’s emissions have increased every year during the last five years data is available for (2015-2019) and remain higher than in 2007, the baseline year chosen by the province.
The provincial Climate Change Accountability Act, 2019 establishes several GHG pollution reduction targets for B.C. over the next 28 years. Under this law, the B.C. Minister of Environment and Climate Change is required to publish an annual Accountability Report, describing B.C.’s progress on reducing GHG pollution. The Report must include plans for how the province will continue to pursue each of its targets.
The 2021 Accountability Report fails to explain how B.C. will continue progress towards achieving four of its legislated targets; the 2025, 2040, and 2050 targets as well as a crucial 2030 target for the oil and gas sector. Achieving net zero by 2050 requires meeting every target on the path between 2025 and 2050, for every sector of BC’s economy. If one target is missed, this could lead to other targets being missed in the future.
This Act was introduced specifically to increase the “frequency and specificity of the information required to be reported” to lawmakers and the public.
Plans to meet all of BC’s climate targets are crucial in ensuring that B.C. can transition to a low-carbon economy over the next 28 years. Achieving the 2025 target would lay the groundwork for the government to hit their longer-term targets for 2030, 2040 and 2050. A plan to meet the oil and gas sector target is crucial to ensure that one of the most polluting sectors of the economy does its fair share towards meeting provincial targets, instead of undermining them by increasing fossil fuel production.
Despite the climate emergency, the B.C. government continues to support and subsidize the expansion of fracking operations and construction of the LNG Canada terminal in Kitimat. Unless stopped, this project will drastically increase emissions in 2025, the same year B.C. emissions are supposed to be 16 percent lower than in 2007. LNG Canada and other proposed LNG terminals would almost certainly make it impossible to meet 2030, 2040 and 2050 targets.
Ecojustice uses the power of the law to defend nature, combat climate change, and fight for a healthy environment. Its strategic, public interest lawsuits and advocacy lead to precedent-setting court decisions and law and policy that deliver lasting solutions to Canada’s most urgent environmental problems. As Canada’s largest environmental law charity, Ecojustice operates offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, and Halifax.
Sierra Club BC is an environmental non-profit working to support people stewarding abundant ecosystems and a stable climate, while building resilient, equitable communities. The organization strives to do this by upholding Indigenous rights and title, reconnecting children and youth with nature, supporting grassroots-led climate action, and advocating for old-growth protection, a rapid shift away from fossil fuels and a just transition for industry workers.
Eric Wright, Communications Manager | Ecojustice
604-685-5618 ext. 525, email@example.com.
Jens Wieting, Senior Forest and Climate Campaigner | Sierra Club BC
firstname.lastname@example.org, (604) 354-5312