British Columbians tell Government: Ancient Forests Forever

Victoria – Three Vancouver Island MLA’s submitted over 2500 petitions today calling for the phase out of old-growth logging on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. The petitions were collected by the Wilderness Committee, and submitted by Members of the Legislative Assembly Scott Fraser, Lana Popham and Claire Trevena on behalf of their constitutes.

“Vancouver Island is home to some of the most spectacular old-growth forests in the world, and people are making their concerns heard. In the last year, over 31,000 people added their voices to the call to end old-growth logging,” said Tria Donaldson, Wilderness Committee’s Vancouver Island Outreach Coordinator.

Despite overwhelming public support for protecting old-growth, the BC government continues to allow the logging of critical ancient forest habitat. The Wilderness Committee is calling for a ban on logging in BC’s remaining ancient forests, starting with the most endangered eco-systems, like the Coastal Douglas-fir zone.

The Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem on Vancouver Island is one of the most threatened forests in Canada. Less then one per cent of the original old-growth trees remain, far below what scientists recommend for ensuring ecosystem survival. Key pieces of Coastal Douglas-fir forests are under immediate threat from logging and development, including the Nanoose Bay Forest (also known as DL33).

“Few pieces of Coastal Douglas-fir forest remain on Crown land where government can take immediate action to protect these rare forests. Unfortunately, in the case of Nanoose Bay Forest, the exact opposite has happened, and a logging permit has been granted. If logging is allowed to go forward, we will lose a critical piece of habitat on Vancouver Island forever,” said Donaldson.

“The province-wide law the Wilderness Committee is seeking is not unheard of. If British Columbia was to legislate a total ban on old-growth logging, we would join a growing list of jurisdictions that have already taken that step, including New Zealand, Thailand and Finland. For the health of our environment, our carbon footprint and BC jobs we need to phase out old-growth logging, and require all timber cut in BC’s second-growth plantations to be milled in the province,” said Donaldson.

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