Dear FLNR Minister,
Congratulations on the new NDP government. Now let work begin!
I am writing on behalf of old-growth forest protection. On Vancouver Island and the SW mainland, over 90 per cent of valley bottom, big-treed old-growth has been logged; just 2.6 per cent is protected. On Vancouver Island alone, 32 soccer fields of old-growth are logged every day, and in three years, all remaining old-growth may be gone. Despite the frenzied pace of logging, thousands of forestry jobs have been lost to mechanization, mill closures, a lack of secondary manufacturing and raw log exports, all to bring greater profits to multinational companies and shareholders. Forest conservation is not to blame for job loss.
But the intact old-growth ecosystem we carelessly destroy is priceless, with enormous cultural, emotional, spiritual, ecological and scientific values, huge carbon storage and undoubted tourist potential. We must protect all remaining old-growth in B.C.
This does not mean a loss of jobs. There is work to be done in the second-growth forests full of pecker pole trees which scar our landscape. Thinning and prescribed burning will help forestall the very real danger of out-of-control forest fires; retooled mills can use thinned timber to create wood products such as densified plywood, used for the construction of multistorey buildings and more. Let’s get back to work and save old-growth, create more jobs, have a sustainable planet!