Organizer’s toolkit for the Forest Day of Action

Join us in organizing a B.C.-wide day of creative public actions to hold the provincial government accountable for their old-growth promises.


Why September 28?

September 2023 marks the 3rd anniversary of the Old Growth Strategic Review (OGSR) report, which set a clear three-year timeline to advance its 14 recommendations. Currently, the B.C. government has made little progress on their promises. This inaction is unacceptable and it’s time to ramp up the pressure!

This is less than a week before the BC Legislature returns to session. Our actions will send MLAs back to Victoria with a strong mandate to do more for the forests.

The actions and how to make them inviting!

A dozen (and counting) locally-organized public demonstrations in front of MLA offices are happening on September 28. We also welcome and encourage all local initiatives from across the province to join for widespread participation and media coverage. We need everyone to tap into their networks and contacts to ensure a strong show of support.

We’re encouraging folks to self-organize in their ridings and communities, as that is always the most effective. It’s very possible that MLAs won’t be at their offices for your local event. This is not a big deal because a key goal is generating media attention so focus on getting your local media to be there!

Get creative! Here’s a sample of the incredible art and creativity that made the United for Old Growth rally in February such a success. Host an art-build/sign-painting event in your community before the 28th. This is an opportunity for us to grow stronger together as we celebrate the magnificence of the web of life in old-growth forests.

Here are some more visual examples to inspire your day of action!

Don’t worry about your action being small
Even if you can get a small number of people to make signs and stand in front of your MLA’s office, you’ll make a difference. It’s the sum of our actions and the local media attention we generate that will create an impact.

Think outside the box
Do you have an artist who can lead a group of banner-painters in front of your MLA’s office? Can you think of a group song or 2 to sing? You can decide whether to have a speaker, an open mic, or whatever. It’s up to you. If there is going to be speaking, you might want to try to line up a mic with a battery-powered amp.


Event timing
Event timing could vary slightly for each location but we suggest telling your networks and inviting local media to gather between noon and 1:00 p.m. or at a time that works best for your group.

Add your event to our public list of actions
Input contact and event details for your local old-growth action on September 28, 2023 using this Google Form. Your action location could be the address of your local MLA constituency office, for example.

The event information will be uploaded to website landing pages and Facebook to encourage other community members to join you.

Please reach out to organizers with any questions or feedback at united4oldgrowth@gmail.com.

How to get people out to your event

  • Use your networks. Ask your core supporters to send out invitations/posters to all their friends and contacts.
  • Create your own promotional posters and social media graphics to get the word out. You can download these templates for social media feed, stories, posters/flyers (8.5×11”, 11×17”) and customize them with your event details.
  • Amplify the event on social media and with your email list. We’ve put together this helpful amplification kit filled with suggested written copy and visuals.
  • Write a letter to the editor in advance of September 28, highlighting some of the speaking points below and inviting people to the event.
  • Access online calendars to post your September 28 event so more people can find out about it. Consider sending a short notice to your local churches, asking them to include it in their bulletins.
  • Hand out flyers (you can download a flyer template here as an 8.5×11” or 11×17” version).

How to get the attention of local media

A huge part of these events is ensuring local media coverage. Reach out to your media contacts with this media advisory template

We recommend copy/pasting the media advisory into the email body with the subject line “Media Advisory: Old growth demonstration at (YOUR MLA’s NAME)’s office”

News organizations are easy to contact. If you go to their website you can find the “contact us” tab and send an email along with the press release. We recommend reaching out to both editors and local reporters. 

Make sure you advertise your event on both social media and your community print/radio/tv. Try to get at least one media person out to cover the event. 

Take pictures of your group with the MLA office (if possible) in the background and email to: social@sierraclub.bc.ca.

Key messaging/Our asks:

Be sure to identify who from your group is comfortable and well-equipped to speak with the media.

Key talking points:

  • The logging of old-growth forests needs to stop. When these life-sustaining ecosystems are destroyed, they are gone forever. The unique features of old-growth forests take centuries to develop — in a province where the forests are re-logged every 60 years. As a result, old-growth forests are not a renewable resource.
  • We are here to advance meaningful protection for threatened old-growth forests and a paradigm shift that puts ecological integrity and the wellbeing of communities over short-term timber values
  • B.C. and Canada have been on fire all summer. Old-growth forests play an essential role in capturing carbon and maintaining carbon sinks, and providing habitat for species at risk of extinction. Logging old-growth forests in the middle of a climate emergency is immoral and adds to more climate chaos. 
  • The Old Growth Strategic Review (OGSR) report, released September 11, 2020, makes clear recommendations to keep rare old-growth forests standing and overhaul forest stewardship within three years. However, the BC NDP government has fallen far behind, so far completing none of the panel’s fourteen recommendations despite being at the end of the three-year timeline laid out in the report
  • These forests hold, per hectare, more carbon than even the Amazon rainforest. They are vital for many unique and endangered species, First Nations cultures, B.C.’s multi-billion-dollar tourism industry and to provide clean water for communities and wild salmon.
  • Ongoing monitoring via field assessments and satellite analysis show clearcutting continues in at-risk old-growth earmarked for deferral, resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of hectares of the most valuable forests. Use the Forest Eye satellite tool to learn more.
  • The BC NDP government has insisted it will not make any changes to levels of logging without agreement from First Nations, but has not offered adequate funding to address the economic impacts of short-term deferrals and long-term protection. 
  • We are urging the province to immediately defer logging in all at-risk old-growth forests and provide full compensation to any First Nations impacted, as called for by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs in June of 2022.
  • The world is watching B.C. with dismay. Images of logging in proposed deferral areas garner worldwide attention and public frustration as the ongoing destruction of irreplaceable forests in B.C. continues to rise. 
  • The anger many people are feeling comes from the fact the BC NDP promised to protect old-growth forests in the last provincial election, but hasn’t taken the basic first steps required to ensure the most at-risk old-growth forests survive; let alone made the short, medium and long-term investments necessary to protect ecological integrity.
  • On the ground, very little has changed in the three years since the government committed to a paradigm shift and that is unacceptable. When old-growth forests are logged, they are gone forever.

For more in-depth information, read the latest report card related to the OGSR.

Have any questions?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out! If you have any questions, you can get in touch with Sierra Club BC organizer David Quigg at davidq@sierraclub.bc.ca