Photo: Southern Walbran Valley after Teal Jones' clearcuts (WC Files)
After several setbacks this year from the Kinder Morgan pipeline decision, to the ongoing destruction in the Peace River Valley for the Site C dam, it’s easy to feel like your voice doesn’t matter.
More than ever you are part of the thin green line that must never ever give up.
On Dec 7, it’s the ancient forests of the Walbran Valley calling for our help. To date, no logging has been done on the intact north bank of the Walbran River, and the valley has become a major catalyst in recharging the conversation against ending old-growth logging on Vancouver Island.
That’s why our final #WW of the year, we’re going big!
The continued foot-dragging from our provincial lawmakers is unacceptable, so this #WalbranWednesday we’re targeting every MLA in BC!
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.
Points to consider in your message:
Photo: Unprotected Castle Giant (Shane Johnson)
Globally important old-growth rainforest in the Walbran Valley is at risk, and we need urgent action to protect it!
Last fall, after finding new surveying tape in the unprotected central Walbran Valley, we contacted logging company Teal Jones to ask what its plans were. We stressed the ecological importance and scarcity of old-growth forests, and we asked that the company select another location in its large forest tenure.
Then, Teal Jones sent us a map that showed eight new cutblocks on the north side of the Walbran River – the most extensive valley-bottom old-growth stand in the entire Walbran Valley. The company has completely disregarded our request and is now targeting one of the last contiguous intact old-growth forests on southern Vancouver Island.
Cutting down 1,000-year-old trees and destroying the intact ecosystems that support them is an archaic practice that must end. Our provincial government has a duty to step up and protect what little remains, in a way that works for ecosystems and ensures First Nations’ access to traditional resources.
Teal Jones is choosing to re-ignite the War in the Woods, but the provincial government has the power to stop this. And it’s up to us to pressure them to do so.
Please write your letter now and demand that Premier Christy Clark deny permits for old-growth logging in the Walbran Valley.
Grassroots campaigning and public pressure have a history of success when it comes to protecting old-growth forests. The Carmanah Valley and a portion of the Walbran were protected in 1993, after a fierce Wilderness Committee campaign and support from concerned citizens like you.
We can do this again, and protect what’s left of the Walbran Valley’s ancient forest.
Photo: Teal Jones clearcut in the Walbran Valley (WC Files)
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
Trail building with the Wilderness Committee on Meares Island was an incredible experience. Working with a fantastic team, we helped maintain and develop the trails on the island while camping in one of the most beautiful and untouched forests in the province. The experience left us all feeling very grateful to have been able to participate in such cultural and environmental significant place.