Thursday, May 04, 2017

Vote to Protect BC’s Endangered Old-Growth Forests!

TAKE ACTION: Tell the 2017 Provincial Election Candidates to Protect BC’s Endangered Old-Growth Forests!

by BC Forest Movement

May 4, 2017

BC’s old-growth coastal temperate rainforests are some of the rarest ecosystems on the planet. Home to some of the world’s largest trees, old-growth forests are not only iconic – they support unique plants, animals and cultures.

And yet they’re disappearing before our eyes. Send a message to demand action from our politicians! Our spectacular but threatened old-growth forests are endangered by industrial logging, despite their environmental and economic benefits.

On BC’s southern coast, satellite photos show that at least 75% of the original productive old-growth forests have already been logged, including well over 90% of the lowland ancient forests where the richest biodiversity and largest, most magnificent trees are found.

Old-growth forests are important because they:

  • Support unique wildlife.
  • Provide clean water for people, wild salmon, and other wildlife.
  • Store vast amounts of atmospheric carbon.
  • Support the tourism industry.
  • Are central to many First Nations cultures.

Despite the continuation of old-growth logging in BC, forestry jobs are declining across the province, largely due to:

  • Resource depletion from the unsustainable liquidation of the biggest, best old-growth trees in the valley bottoms and lower slopes.
  • A failure by the BC government to enact incentives and regulations for companies to retool old-growth sawmills to process smaller second-growth logs and to develop value-added wood industries.
  • The vast export of raw logs to foreign mills, resulting in the loss of thousands of potential BC milling jobs.

The Ancient Forest Alliance is calling on the BC government to implement a comprehensive, science-based plan to protect BC’s endangered old-growth forests while ensuring a sustainable, value-added second-growth forest industry.

Thousands of concerned British Columbians from diverse segments of society; multiple chambers of commerce, including the BC Chamber of Commerce; the Union of BC Municipalities; the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities; the Public and Private Workers of Canada (who represent pulp and paper mill workers); and many others have all called on the provincial government to increase the protection of BC’s remaining old-growth forests and transition to a sustainable, value-added, second-growth forestry industry, which would support and enhance forestry jobs in BC at the same time!

Now, with the BC provincial election quickly approaching, it’s time to make our voices heard! Liberal, NDP and Green Party candidates need to know that protecting old-growth is good politics and that their constituents demand action.

SEND a MESSAGE to BC’s key politicians and government HERE!

3) Or WRITE to key provincial politicians and the BC government, demanding that they:

  • Undertake a Provincial Old-Growth Strategy to ban or quickly phase-out old-growth logging wherever old-growth forests are now scarce (ex. Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland, BC Interior, etc.)
  • Ensure the sustainable logging of second-growth forests (which now constitute most of southern BC’s forests).
  • End the export of raw logs to foreign mills in order to ensure a guaranteed log supply for BC mills.
  • Assist in the re-tooling of BC mills and the development of value-added wood processing facilities to handle second-growth logs.
  • Support First Nations Tribal Parks, protected areas, and land use plans with legislation and financial support to help develop conservation-based, sustainable economies in their communities.

Visit the Ancient Forest Alliance’s website to view photos, videos, news or to sign up to our newsletter.

Click to see maps and statistics on the remaining old-growth forests on BC’s southern coast.

Messages are sent to:
BC Liberal Party Leader Christy Clark | BC NDP Leader John Horgan | BC Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver | Steve Thomson, BC Liberal candidate for Kelowna-Mission | Mary Polak, BC Liberal candidate for Langley | Scott Fraser, NDP candidate for Mid-Island-Pacific Rim | Carole James, NDP candidate for Victoria-Beacon Hill | George Heyman, NDP candidate for Vancouver-Fairview | David Eby, NDP candidate for Vancouver-Point Grey | Dan Hines, BC Green Party Forestry Critic | BC Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations | BC Minister of Environment | BC Premier.

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