The message is clear, John Horgan: protect BC forests!
On June 6, concerned local residents demonstrated outside seventeen MLA and government offices in a follow-up to February’s joint letter delivery. Together, we demanded science-based protection of B.C.’s old-growth forests, improved forest management and support for First Nations that seek to protect more forest.
People of all ages came together for this Day of Action in Oliver, Campbell River, Sidney, Duncan, Courtenay-Comox, Parksville, Nanaimo, Langford, Langley, Nelson, Prince George, Sechelt, Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria. Thanks to all who raised their voices and to MLAs who took the time to engage in important discussions about the health of these vital ecosystems. Specifically, George Heyman and Doug Routley came out to speak with demonstrators about the state of forests. We’re excited to keep this ball rolling!
Supporters chimed in across social media to demand forest action while others took to the streets. The events drew significant media coverage, province-wide and locally, including this great piece by GlobalTV:
In today’s climate and ecological crisis, it is more important than ever to take immediate steps to protect intact forests.
B.C.’s coastal temperate rainforests are among the rarest ecosystems on the planet, but today less than 10 per cent of Vancouver Island’s largest old-growth trees are left. The current rate of old-growth logging on Vancouver Island is more than thirty soccer fields per day or about 10,000 hectares a year. This logging typically uses industrial clearcutting logging practices.
The loss of BC’s last old-growth forests is threatening plants and animals, carbon storage and environmental services like clean air and clean water. Species that depend on old-growth forests will not survive as the majority of the Island is progressively covered by young, even-aged forests.
Increasing conservation and stringent forestry laws are needed to ensure communities have clean water and clean air as a basis for a diverse economy, including tourism and recreation. These steps are critical to reduce the damage from worsening climate impacts like droughts and flooding.
Moving away from destructive practices like clearcutting must be part of provincial climate action to increase the amount of carbon stored in forests. This will translate into more jobs and less damage per cubic metre wood. Protected areas and logging regulation must also respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
Sierra Club BC is calling for immediate action by the provincial government to protect and restore endangered old-growth ecosystems, before intensifying climate impacts like drought, wildfires and storms—coupled with destructive logging practices—further exacerbate pressure on ecosystems.
Help make BC’s forestry laws better. Add your input to change the the key law governing provincial forest management: