Last year, the BC government responded to the pressure you and I have built over decades and ordered a review of this province’s broken forest policies. That review culminated in an independent expert report, A New Future for Old Forests, released in September 2020. The report is clear: BC’s current status quo is unsustainable and a full paradigm shift in the way forests are managed is needed — key messages of the Wilderness Committee.
This report represents a race against time. We need to hit pause on logging while we work on a plan to ensure permanent protection for BC's remaining old growth forests. It’s time to reimagine our relationship with forests and commit to understanding and treating them as complex ecosystems with hundreds of important values, not just sources of timber and fibre.
Industry and government push back on calls for old-growth protection and say conservation must be balanced with economic needs. In reality, the chance to achieve this balance passed decades ago. The majority of old-growth has been clear-cut, logging companies have trampled Indigenous rights time after time, and several forest-dependent species like the marbled murrelet and southern mountain caribou have been pushed to the brink of extinction.
What’s needed is fundamental change to the way the government approaches forests. We have a plan to ensure they do.
Will you consider a donation today to help us strike while the iron is hot and ensure we protect remaining forest ecosystems before it’s too late?
The time of talking about protecting old-growth is over — actually doing it is the only thing that’s acceptable now.
What will we do?
The BC government’s old-growth review has proposed a 36-month strategy paradigm shift in management with 14 recommendations and a series of actions. The Wilderness Committee will work in lockstep during this period to engage and mobilize the public to ensure the government not only implements the panel’s recommendations, but initiates the paradigm shift required for these ancient forest ecosystems to survive.
Over the next three years the Wilderness Committee will escalate public pressure and policy demands to:
- Highlight what’s at stake: mapping and on-the-ground photo and video documentation.
- Support First Nations and communities: amplifying Indigenous voices.
- Mobilize: letter writing, calls to legislators and other actions.
- Show the connection between habitats and species: spotted owls, marbled murrelets, southern mountain caribou urgently need permanent protection where they live.
- Speak truth to the government: no more plans and no more talk while ancient trees vanish forever.
How much will it cost?
The Wilderness Committee is truly people powered — funded nearly 100% by individual donors like you and I. From events and rallies, community meetings, and door-to-door canvassing, we engage tens of thousands of people at a grassroots level each year on critical environmental issues facing us all and supporters give what they can, when they can.
COVID-19 has taken its toll. But we are honoured by donors who’ve continued to support us and those who’ve stepped up to increase their support when others have been unable to.The Fund for Ancient Forests ensures we’ll have what we need — your investment and your backing — to be bolder, more creative and more effective at getting remaining old-growth forests protected before they vanish forever.
The cost for three years is estimated at $600,000, with the following annual breakdown:
- Vancouver Island: research, expeditions, engagement, government relations and advocacy: $80,000
- Mainland BC: engagement as above: $50,000
- Field Expeditions and Trailbuilding: monitor and document old-growth in cut blocks, deferral areas & hot spots for protection. Clear and build trails through at-risk wilderness areas: $15,000
- Mapping, Videos & Communications: $40,000
- Materials, Online tools, Virtual Events and Legal engagement: $15,000
So far, we've raised $158,000 — several key donors have stepped up with an initial donation. Your gift matters. Your contribution today sustains our work for the long term.
Will you join us in investing in the Wilderness Committee's Fund for Ancient Forests today?
With your help, we can carry on our accountable, grassroots tradition of action for the ancient forests of British Columbia.