VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Sierra Club BC is calling British Columbia officials to “immediately place a moratorium on logging in ecosystems and landscapes with very little old forest” in response to a new study raising the concern of old-growth forest management.
The study, “B.C.’s Old-Growth Forest: A Last Stand for Biodiversity,” states, “The current condition of old forest for many forested ecosystems in BC is low, or very low today, leading to high or very high risk to ecological function, biodiversity and ecosystem services. It is expected to further deteriorate given current policy for protection of old forest and increased disturbance due to climate change. The historic management approach has allowed the old growth situation to become a significant problem, and the situation will only get worse under current provincial policy. The entire management regime therefore requires a significant shift in order to fix the problem. Individual regions around the province are struggling with this issue — but a higher-level solution is needed. Apply an immediate moratorium on harvest of old (and mature) forest in any biogeoclimatic variant with less than 10% old forest remaining today. These areas are at overall high risk — and in all of these areas, old forest is being harvested today. Opportunities are being lost daily for effective conservation in these zones.”
“This report shows that things are worse than we thought for B.C.’s ancient giants,” said Jens Wieting, Sierra Club BC’s forest and climate campaigner. “These big old and ancient trees existed for thousands of years and 100 years of industrial logging has cut all but three percent. Every natural system has a breaking point and we have reached it.
“Only about 35,000 hectares of old-growth forests with very big old trees remain across the province, and only a portion have effective protection. We are losing a legacy and all the environmental services that these forests provide for community and human health,” Wieting added. “It is unconscionable that the last remaining big old trees are still being logged as a result of what the report authors call ‘loopholes, gaming, arithmetic errors and simple lack of monitoring.’”
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