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 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 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
Have your say before January 31
Feedback can be sent by filling out the questionnaire or emailing written submissions and it is due by 4pm on Friday January 31. Scroll down for info resources you can use in writing your response. Responses written in your own words will be given more weight, so please write from the heart about why it’s important to you to protect old-growth.
Fill out the questionnaire: 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.
You can learn more about the Strategic Review process here: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/oldgrowth/
You can also join Sierra Club BC supporters in completing the survey or writing a letter at one of our letter-writing parties:
- Victoria at the Fernwood Inn (1302 Gladstone Avenue) Tuesday January 28, 5:30-7pm. RSVP on Facebook
- Richmond on January 19, 4-7pm. Email email@example.com for the address. RSVP on Facebook
Bring a laptop if you have one. If you don’t, there will be extra laptops to use.
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.
- Our Old-Growth Forest Fact Sheet
- Our forest webinar series (see “Old-Growth Update” for a webinar specifically about this review process)
- Sierra Club BC’s forest campaign website, with a wealth of links to resources, media releases, fact sheets and maps.
- Our old-growth media backgrounder
- Our Clearcut Carbon report and a recent report from Dr. Jim Pojar, which show the value of old-growth for storing carbon to address the climate crisis
- Latest polling data (9 in 10 British Columbians Support Protecting Old-Growth)
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.
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.”
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: firstname.lastname@example.org