Another month, another round of #WalbranWednesday!
This #WalbranWednesday, we’re calling on Minister of Environment Mary Polak to stop sitting on the sidelines of the logging crisis in the Walbran Valley.
For more than a year, the Walbran Valley has been under threat by logging corporation Teal Jones. Thousands of you have written letters to the Minister of Forests and the Premier of BC, demanding them to put a hold on clearcutting in the Walbran Valley and engage with the company, First Nations and the public to find a solution.
Our calls for collaboration have been rejected by the company, and provincial leadership is desperately needed on this issue.
But the Premier and the Minister of Forests have done all they can to ignore this issue and the citizens, municipal governments, and businesses who are begging for a solution.
Less than 10 per cent of low-elevation old-growth rainforest remains intact on Vancouver Island, and there is no economic or environmental rationale for liquidating the remainder in places like the Walbran Valley.
The situation in the Walbran Valley is an environmental crisis, but Mary Polak, BC’s Environment Minister, has been nowhere to be found.
Minister Polak insists that this is a forest issue to be dealt with by the forest minister and that the Walbran isn’t her responsibility.
In TV appearances over the last year, the Minister consistently dodged responsibility on the Walbran. In one interview she claims that the Walbran issue “is about taking things out of the environment, and as such is the responsibility of Minister (of Forests) Thomson.” She says the Ministry of Environment doesn’t set policy around forest issues, and refuses to get involved in the issue. In another, she cites one of BC’s main logging lobbyists in her justification of the destruction of the Walbran by pointing out that there are protected areas elsewhere in the province.
It’s concerning to hear a Minister whose job is protecting the environment quote a lobbyist whose job is profiting from its exploitation, and it’s frustrating that the Environment Minister won’t step in on a pressing environmental issue.
Clearcutting endangered old-growth forests impacts water, endangered species and our climate, and it’s time for Minister Polak to stand up for the environment in the Walbran Valley!
This WalbranWednesday, we’re asking the Minister to stop ignoring bodies like the BC Chamber of Commerce and the Union of BC Municipalities that have passed motions calling for the protection of the Walbran and forests like it.
The call to protect Vancouver Island’s remain old-growth is growing louder and more diverse – just a few weeks ago, this piece was co-authored by a hereditary chief, a union president, a chamber of commerce president, the BC government’s former head forest ecologist and one of BC’s top forest experts.
It’s time for the BC government to listen to these leaders and to the thousands of citizens who are calling for action.
Take a few minutes to call, email or tweet (or, our favourite: all three!) to Minister Polak today!
Contact BC Environment Minister Mary Polak,
*Can’t decide which office to contact? Do both!
There are lots of meaningful ways to contribute to the work of the Wilderness Committee. Whether is helping out around the office, promotion events, or doing campaign specific outreach in your community, we can use your skills and passion!
#202-3 Fan Tan Alley,
Victoria BC, V8W 3G9
phone: (250) 388-9292
fax: (250) 388-9223