Image: Wilderness Committee

Image: Wilderness Committee

Victoria – Environmental groups are congratulating the City of Victoria for passing a motion against controversial logging in the central Walbran Valley, a nationally significant old-growth forest outside Victoria.

A motion passed last night by City Council asks Mayor Lisa Helps to write to BC’s Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations requesting protection for the Walbran Valley.

“We’re thrilled with this environmental leadership from the City of Victoria,” said Torrance Coste, Vancouver Island Campaigner with the Wilderness Committee. “The Mayor’s letter will add to over 1,600 letters sent by British Columbians in the last month to the provincial government, which has been completely silent on the issue.”

The Motion, submitted by Councillors Jeremy Loveday and Ben Isitt, was drafted in response to logging plans by Surrey-based Teal Jones Group. Last month, the Wilderness Committee obtained plans from Teal Jones that outlined eight cutblocks to be logged in the most ecologically sensitive part of the Walbran Valley. To date, the company has applied for one cutblock but hasn’t yet received a permit.

“I’m really glad that Council voted to stand up for the Walbran Valley and old-growth forests on Vancouver Island,” said Councillor Loveday. “Old-growth forests have an inherent majestic value; they are also good for tourism, the economy and they are an important carbon sink.”

The central Walbran Valley is located on southwestern Vancouver Island, on unceded Nuu-chah-nulth territories. Across the Island, less than 10 percent of old-growth forest remains.