Protect old-growth forests on Vancouver Island

During this year's Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention (September 26-30), delegates – mayors and councillors from across the province – were set to vote on a motion to oppose old-growth logging.

The motion was brought forward by Metchosin council, and has already been passed at the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) earlier this year.

But in the lead-up to the convention, the UBCM resolutions committee decided that old-growth logging is a regional issue and should be dealt with as such by regional bodies like the AVICC.

The endangered old-growth on Vancouver Island and the South Coast, is an issue that impacts all of BC, and councillors from Metchosin and other municipalities know it. At the UBCM convention they will fight to have the motion discussed and voted on at the convention, and they need your support!

This is a huge opportunity for municipal leaders to formally stand together and state the simple fact that old-growth logging has no place in healthy communities.

This is the official motion that they’ll be championing:

C27   Protection of Old-growth Forests
Whereas old-growth forest is increasingly rare on Vancouver Island, and is gone for centuries once logged;

And whereas old-growth forest has significant economic, social and environmental value as wildlife habitat, tourism resource, carbon sink and much more;

And whereas current plans on provincial Crown land call for logging the remaining old-growth forest, outside of protected areas, Old-Growth Management Areas, and similar reserves, over the next 10-20 years:

Therefore be it resolved that the old-growth forest on provincial Crown Land on Vancouver Island be protected from logging;

And be it further resolved that AVICC send a letter to the provincial government—Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations—as well as relevant government organizations requesting that the Vancouver Island Land Use Plan be amended to protect all of Vancouver Island's remaining old growth forest on provincial Crown land.

Our municipal leaders need our encouragement to:

a) support the adoption of the motion above as an official resolution, and

b) endorse this motion when it goes to a vote. 

    Send your mayor and councillors a message today and encourage them to do the right thing for BC!

    Points to consider in your message:

    • Old-growth forests provide cultural resources utilized by First Nations since time immemorial that are not found in second-growth forests.
    • Old-growth forests provide habitat for several endangered and at-risk species, some of which only live in ancient rainforest.
    • Old-growth forests store more carbon than younger forests – it an era when climate change is the single biggest crisis facing humanity, we have a moral responsibility to protect old-growth.
    • Around 90 per cent of Vancouver Island’s old-growth forest has already been logged, and an immediate halt to old-growth logging is required to ensure the survival of these ecosystems.
    • Vancouver Island municipalities and the BC Chamber of Commerce have already passed motions opposing continued old-growth logging – businesses and communities know that sustainable second-growth forestry is the only future for this industry!
    • Old-growth rainforests are integral to BC’s “super, natural” reputation, and the protection of ancient rainforests will benefit all municipalities in BC.

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    Photo: Unprotected Castle Giant (Shane Johnson)