Call for moratorium on old growth logging: enough is enough

To destroy our ecosystems is to destroy ourselves.

Call for moratorium on old growth logging: enough is enough

Call for moratorium on old growth logging: enough is enough

Direct action — that’s what’s happening at Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew right now as concerned citizens establish a presence to protect the last intact tributary on the San Juan River and one of the few pockets of ancient forest in the region. The Fairy Creek blockade brings focus to the plight of our old growth forests once again, amongst an ongoing and ever-growing chorus from scientists, environmental organizations and B.C. citizens. In the absence of a substantive plan that considers the public good, forest management in this province is dominated by corporate need for ever-increasing and immediate economic returns — an impossibility in the face of finite and dwindling old growth forests. It’s a need that we can never ever satisfy. Meanwhile, some of our most important needs — maintaining the earth’s biodiversity and addressing the climate crisis — are being put aside.

With one per cent of old growth forest left, B.C. citizens must be wondering about the government’s headlong rush to harvest all that remains, even when it’s located on steep hillsides and difficult terrain. Nothing is sacred anymore — First Nations reconciliation and culture, biodiversity, climate crisis benefits, the reverence for intact ecosystems. When is enough enough?

The scientific report BC’s Old Growth Forest: A Last Stand for Biodiversity recently authored by Dr. Rachel Holt, Dr. Karen Price and David Daust presents a clear picture of the losses we have suffered and what we still stand to lose. One can only wonder about the recommendations of the Old-Growth Strategic Review Panel, currently languishing on the desk of Forests Minister Doug Donaldson. Is that the reason for the rush to harvest it all before that report is released?

The myth of forest and related jobs has now been exploded with the careful research Forestry Doesn’t Pay the Bills, Folks, written by David Broadland of Focus Magazine. Now we discover that taxpayers are subsidizing the industry to the tune of a million dollars a day. That is money that should be funneled to education, habitat conservation, health and social programs.

The truth is that old growth forests have a value far beyond the immediate monetary value they might bring. Old growth is cited as a critical element in our climate crisis strategy, a system that provides the air we breathe, the water we drink, habitat for wildlife, a biodiversity that provides food, health and wellness benefits, not to mention the uses we have yet to discover. Our children, grandchildren and those to come will need old growth forests more than ever before. Intact old growth can and does provide jobs beyond cutting it all down — recreation, ecotourism, education, research, culture, value-added wood products, just to name a few. No one visits Super Natural B.C. to see clearcuts.

The Fairy Creek blockade is reminiscent of Clayquot Sound in 1993 when nearly 11,000 people came to protest the clear-cut logging practices of government and industry. People were arrested by the hundreds, willing to pay the court fines if it meant saving the forest. It was a direct action that succeeded — an important lesson that could be repeated at Fairy Lake. At this point we must all take a stand about what is important to the citizens of B.C. To destroy our ecosystems is to destroy ourselves.

Enough is enough.

Kathy Code

Cobble Hill

Letters

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kyle Topping  skates for the Cowichan Valley Capitals during the 2015-16 BCHL season. (Citizen file)
Former Caps make news in pro ranks

Kyle Topping and Laurent Brossoit mark achievements

Duncan’s City Hall will get a seismic assessment this year. (File photo)
Duncan City Hall to get seismic assessment

City hopes grants will help pay for seismic upgrades

Vandals damaged a picnic table at Spectacle Lake Park with a chainsaw earlier this month. (Linda Mills photo)
Editorial: Vandals make victims of us all

It is infuriating when people target public property for vandalism.

Vees' Jack Barnes picked up his second goal of the season in the team's 5-0 win over Merritt on Saturday. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Cowichan Capitals in deadline dilemma with 20-year-old players

Hard decisions loom when BCHL may or may not resume play

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
Island-raised musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah closes out the movie

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing escalates to stabbing in Nanaimo

Victim, struck with coffee cup and then stabbed, suffers minor injuries; suspect arrested

A battery electric-hybrid ferry, pictured here, is expected to make its way to Vancouver Island in late 2021, says B.C. Ferries. (Submitted photo)
Hybrid ferry for Gabriola-Nanaimo route launches in shipyard in Europe

Two hybrid vessels to replace MV Quinsam by early 2022, says B.C. Ferries

The Pacheedaht First Nation is planning a $1-million expansion to its campground in Port Renfrew. (Pixabay photo)
Expanded camping announced for Pacheedaht Campground

$1-million project is part of the B.C. Rural Economic Recovery program

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

The Port of Nanaimo has signed a 50-year-agreement with DP World around short-sea shipping operations at Duke Point Terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)
Lease ‘important first step’ in $105-million Nanaimo port expansion project

Port of Nanaimo and DP World sign 50-year shipping operations agreement for Duke Point

A BC Ferries worker out of Swartz Bay has tested positive for COVID-19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Swartz Bay ferry worker confirmed to have COVID-19

Employees in direct contact with worker now isolating

Most Read