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Provincial government must protect old growth forests

There can be no further prevarication or dissemblance.

Provincial government must protect old growth forests

Open letter to the new provincial government re: heritage liquidation

During the last 150 years, we have liquidated the ecological wealth of our natural forests to the point of extinction. Our province has now reached the bottom of the barrel — this once bountiful heritage has almost been scraped clean. In so doing, we pretended to balance social and economic interests without considering the fundamental necessity of a natural asset that should have provided us with resilience in perpetuity.

I implore our incoming provincial government to grant clemency for the remainder of British Columbia’s forest heritage. There can be no further prevarication or dissemblance. This is “it,” as the recent Old Growth Strategic Review recommendations clearly emphasize. And, as Khelsilem, leader of the Squamish Nation, exhorted: “Any government serious about ensuring the survival of non-renewable old-growth ecosystems, rebuilding public trust in forest management and advancing reconciliation needs to implement the 14 recommendations.”

To the new minister of Forests: please rise above and beyond your letters of mandate. I appeal to you to exercise your fiduciary duty to protect provincial heritage forests in this time of climate emergency. I hope you will not be bullied by caucus pressure or industry influence. The survival of our old-growth forest ecosystems is of existential importance. It is truly our common wealth.

As a specific signal of good faith, I ask that you immediately withdraw the Fairy Creek watershed in unceded Pacheedaht Territory from Tree Farm Licence 46.

Thank you.

Roger Wiles

North Cowichan