BC Forestry Industry Lobby Boasts about Spotted Owl Protection

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 (All day)

Reality check: 12 spotted owls remain in wild in BC – logging primary cause of decline

VANCOUVER – In a recent newsletter from BC’s Coast Forest Products Association, the timber lobby group claims the industry has had a decade of “success” in protecting species at risk, such as the critically endangered Northern spotted owl.

“Our success in BC in protecting species like marbled murrelets, spotted owls, Vancouver Island marmots, northern goshawks, tailed frogs, Grizzly bears and others is evidence that populations of species at risk can be managed well without disabling huge tracts of land,” read the newsletter.

The statements were included in the Fall 2012 publication distributed by the lobby group, which recommended “improvements” to the federal Species at Risk Act. The Association suggested that the federal government follow the example of BC in protecting species at risk by championing voluntary measures and best management practices instead of a prescriptive law.

“Saying that the spotted owl is an example of good forest stewardship is like saying a heart attack is an example of a healthy diet,” said Gwen Barlee, policy director with the Wilderness Committee.

“Scientists acknowledge that the spotted owl is hovering on the brink of extinction in Canada because of poor forestry practices. It is a well-known fact that forestry companies target the same old-growth forests these owls need to survive.”

British Columbia is one of two provinces with no endangered species legislation, and it is home to 1,900 species at risk. BC has been heavily criticized by the environmental community for having no endangered species legislation, instead relying on a patchwork of weak regulations and voluntary measures.

Scientists estimate there are just 12 spotted owls left in the wild in BC – the only place they are found in Canada. Historically, BC was home to about 500 breeding pairs of spotted owls.

 

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For more information contact:

Gwen Barlee, Policy Director, Wilderness Committee:  604-202-0322 (c) or 604-683-8220 (w)

BC Coastal Forest Products newsletter: http://www.coastforest.org/newsletter/current-issue/#chap_02

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