City councillors have their heads in the sand: letter


In reference to your article, ‘City council to fight forestry ‘misinformation’

Campbell River city council are like ostriches with their heads in the sand, hiding from danger.

Yes, every valley bottom in B.C. was once thick with the giant trees which grow in rich soil fertilised by salmon remains. No more. Today, after 100+ years of logging focused on big trees, less than 10 per cent of valley bottom old-growth remains on the southern coast; and just 2.6 per cent is protected. The remaining big trees are being logged at a rate unprecedented and will be gone inside three years.

The Nanaimo city resolution to protect this rare type of forest, so jeered at by Mr. Cornfield, is actually backed up by facts from the Old-Growth Review completed last year, and by unarguable facts related to climate change. Meanwhile, 50 per cent of forestry jobs have been lost in the past 20 years to mechanisation and technology, and once the last quick-profit old-growth is gone, the last of the jobs may go too, as big forest companies leave the province altogether, off to decimate other areas of the planet.

There are many sustainable forest-related jobs we could have if we would insist on: the sustainable logging of second-growth (right now, even second and third growth is being logged at an unsustainable rate); the replanting, restoring, thinning, and prescribed burning of second-growth forests (helps trees grow more quickly and guards against damaging wildfires); banning raw log exports and building new mills to handle smaller timber and produce top quality engineered wood; community ecoforestry; tourism and recreation (old-growth forest needs defined trails through the woods to protect tree roots and understorey vegetation; tourism brings in way more to the economy than forestry). In protecting old-growth, we protect watersheds, salmon-bearing rivers and biodiversity, we protect cultural and spiritual values, and above all, we help protect ourselves against the climate crisis. Common sense says, protect the last old-growth now; it is why China no longer logs primary forest.

As Mr Cornfield and Campbell River city council keep their heads in the sand, hiding from the facts on old-growth, they would do better by our children to lift their heads up and take a closer look at those facts. Ostriches, like dinosaurs, cannot see the future coming.

Amanda Vaughan

Black Creek