In this latest video, our Climate and Conservation Campaigner Mark Worthing powerfully speaks about the importance of forests.
Fall 2019-January 2020
The BC government has recently appointed an independent panel to engage the public on the ecological, economic and cultural importance of old-growth trees and forests.
We encourage all British Columbia residents to request a meeting with the panel or to write to the panel to express their views on old-growth forests. Their processes aren’t great, but we have to use this opportunity to press hard on the need to protect old-growth right now, not later. With old-growth forests in peril in this province, it’s important that our voices be heard, because urgent action is necessary.
This is what the panel has asked to hear from the public:
- What old-growth means to you and how you value it
- Your perspective on how old-growth is managed now
- How you think old-growth could be managed more effectively in the future
The panel is made up of two people: Garry Merkel (forester and member of the Tahltan Nation in Northwestern BC) and Al Gorley (forester). They have a history of working with industry and government. They insist that they will be truly independent and will develop their recommendations without censorship from the provincial government.
Their mandate is to listen and to summarize what they hear, reporting back to the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) in spring 2020 with “recommendations that are expected to inform a new approach to old-growth management for British Columbia.”
Information on Old-Growth Forests
We have prepared a set of resources on old-growth forests in BC and encourage you to view it to help inform your viewpoint.
- Sierra Club BC’s Forest Campaign website, with a wealth of links to resources, media releases, fact sheets and maps: https://RainforestIsland.ca/
- Our Forest Webinar series (see, in particular, “Old-Growth Update” and “Forest Planet”) https://sierraclub.bc.ca/forest-webinars/
- Latest polling data (9 in 10 British Columbians Support Protecting Old-Growth) https://sierraclub.bc.ca/9-in-10-support-protecting-old-growth/
- Old-growth backgrounder (2 pages, PDF): https://sierraclub.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/OldGrowthBackgrounder_Nov2019.pdf
Legal changes are needed to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in forestry laws in order to respect Indigenous jurisdiction and governance, support Indigenous-led conservation, and support economic alternatives for Nations that seek to protect more land. We encourage supporters to gain an understanding of UNDRIP and to learn about Indigenous law with resources from UVic’s Indigenous Law Research Unit.
Schedule, Deadlines and How to Participate
There are four ways to have your voice heard. Feedback is due by 4pm on Friday January 31, 2020.
- Request a meeting with the panel in person in locations below or via phone or video call. We are strongly encouraging anyone concerned about the state of old-growth to request a meeting with the panel. Sign up here. Then let us know whether you got a meeting and how it went by filling out this form. These are the dates the panel will be visiting locations around the province:
- Oct 24/25 – South Central Van Island
- Oct 28-31 – Skeena / Nechako
- Nov 7/8 – North Vancouver Island
- Nov 12-15 – Thompson / Shuswap
- Nov 18 and 21 – Vancouver
- Dec 2/3 – Northeast BC
- Dec 4-6 – Vancouver / Sunshine Coast
- Dec 9 – Haida Gwaii
- Dec 12/13 – Vancouver / Victoria
- Dec 16 – Sea to Sky
- Dec 17-20 – Cariboo / Okanagan
- Fill out the questionnaire (three short-answer questions; six check-box questions; four personal questions): https://feedback.engage.gov.bc.ca/747451?lang=en
Please note that you are able to skip questions. There is a text box at the end of the questionnaire to share your reasoning and any additional thoughts on old-growth protection.
- Email written submissions (including drawings) to firstname.lastname@example.org. These may be posted publicly or in the report. See the submission guidelines here: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/oldgrowth/guidelines-for-formal-submissions/
You can learn more about the Strategic Review process here: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/oldgrowth/
Call for Bold Changes to Forestry Laws Too
The BC government has also been thinking about how to improve the way forests are managed in BC. Soon, through a separate process, it’ll be revealing changes to the Forest & Range Practices Act (FRPA).
Changes to forestry laws need to include protections for old-growth. Let’s make sure this government gets the message that intact forests are important for bears and salmon, for Indigenous peoples, for storing carbon and for protecting communities in the face of climate change.
Photo: TJ Watt/Ancient Forest Alliance
In our diverse province, 92% of people agreeing with each other on anything is nearly unheard of. But British Columbians have spoken.
Monday December 2, 2019
Bateman Foundation Gallery of Nature
470 Belleville Street, Victoria – Lekwungen Territory
The Nuchatlaht Nation has had enough of colonial governments grand standing. Nootka Island is a global gem stewarded by Mowachaht & Nuchatlaht governance since time immemorial. Western Forest Products and government mismanagement have done enough damage. The Nuchatlaht want their land back.
Come to learn and engage your networks. Come with intentions of making a contribution to Nuchatlaht’s work in nation building (small or large, now or later). We’re building a community of support; we’re growing the Friends of the Nuchatlaht.
This event is a fundraiser organized by Sierra Club BC and Wilderness Committee – Victoria Office to support the Nuchatlaht’s legal challenge to get their land back. This is a ticketed event and all the proceeds go to Nuchatlaht First Nation. If you know people who would be interested in supporting, please invite them!
Tyee Ha’wilth Jordan Michael and Archie Little, House-Speaker & Councillor will talk about their Ha-houlthee (lands, waters & resources) and governance.
Lawyer Jack Woodward will speak about his work on the Nuchatlaht title case, following suit from the groundbreaking Tŝilhqot’in court ruling from 2014.
Hear from Roger Dunlop, Regional Biologist of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council’s Uu-a-thluk Fisheries Program, about their Salmon Parks initiatives and vision.
Mark Worthing of Sierra Club BC will speak about the ancient rainforests of Nootka Island
A short film screening, other presenters, and an art auction featuring the work of local Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists and photographers from Vancouver Island. There will be a cash no-host bar and light snacks.
More info to come as the evening comes together.
This event is being held on the unceded territories of the Lekwungen speaking peoples, the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ Nations.
Hychka – HISKWE – Klecko iatsa- Gilakas’la
Sign up for our next live webinar on old-growth forests on November 14.
November 23 and 25
Sointula and Campbell River, BC
Forests and the industries they support are changing on the west coast. Please join Sierra Club BC and the Wilderness Committee for presentations on the climate crisis, the state of old-growth and second-growth forests on Vancouver Island and how these two relate to each other. This will be followed by a discussion about how we can build a just and sustainable future together.
Climate change and decades of forest mismanagement are—and will continue to be—major challenges into the future. How can we build interest in meaningful change on both these interconnected issues and with the speed required? How can we do this in a way that benefits everyone and respects the sovereignty of the First Nations in whose territories we live?
These are the questions we want to dive into.
All perspectives are welcome, and we want to issue a challenge that everyone interested taking part in this conversation: try to bring one other person who may not otherwise attend an event like this.
These events are being held on the territories of the Kwakwaka’wakw people. The organizers recognize that all forests grow on Indigenous territories and that all solutions must centre justice for Indigenous peoples and Nations.
Sointula: Saturday November 23 from 2-4 PM (F.O. Hall, 1st St, Sointula).
Campbell River: Monday November 25 from 7-9 PM (Campbell River Community Center, 401 11th Ave, Campbell River).
For more information, please contact: email@example.com