Fairy Creek old growth must be protected
To: The Honourable John Horgan, Premier; The Honourable Doug Donaldson, FLNR Minister
The Cowichan Valley Naturalists stand with the Ancient Forest Alliance and other concerned citizens in letting you know of our extreme disappointment that the Fairy Creek watershed was not included in the recent moratorium on logging of some old growth forests.
You both must now be keenly aware of the growing movement for saving these forests. The headwaters of Fairy Creek are an extraordinary area. It is the last fully intact, old growth watershed on Vancouver Island containing ancient yellow cedar over 1,000 years old. These trees are much more valuable alive than cut down. We haven’t even studied — don’t even know — many of the species that live exclusively in these habitats.
It is well known that there is very little old growth left on Vancouver Island. Some of the remaining old growth, is protected within isolated park fragments. Anyone who visits Avatar Grove will see how places of old, big trees have grown in popularity. Tourism within these special forests, not logging to benefit an out-of-date growth economy, is how we should be proceeding. Sustainability and resiliency are words we are hearing more often. We must change our attitudes in regard to the environment and the economy. Your government must lead the way.
Old growth ecosystems are essential for maintaining biodiversity; for continuing to be carbon sinks and for offering a place for us all to experience the peace and wonderment that comes with walking in nature.
We urge you to add the whole Fairy Creek watershed to the moratorium on logging. No trees have been protected on Vancouver Island for 30 years. It is time. It is long overdue.
Gail Mitchell and Bruce Coates, co-presidents
Cowichan Valley Naturalists Society