Speaking to our old-growth forests

May 9, 2019 | 41-4, Environment, Governance, Statement, Video | 5 comments

The BC Green Caucus is committed to changing the current BC NDP approach to managing old-growth forests.

These ancient creatures are the largest and oldest on earth. They are a non-renewable resource and while the Minister of Forests claims that his Ministry is developing a management plan they continue to auction of high productivity old-growth forests through B.C. Timber Sales.

We have been asking about the BC NDP approach this past week so in my two-minute statement I spoke directly to our elders.


Today I rise to speak to the ancient peaceful giants, the cedar, fir, hemlock, birch, oak and maple. You, my friends, my relatives, have seen so many generations. From your canopy, a far-away horizon casts long shadows. A decade for me is like a day for you.

We underestimate your silence, because our ears are not tuned to hear your wisdom. Our eyes cannot see your roots. Our fingers made sticky by your sap. Our noses confused by your beautiful scents. You’re gentle with us, yet we repay you with violence, seemingly ungrateful for the oxygen we breathe and the water we drink. You are the vital life-giving organs of a sustainable existence in this place.

When we stop to learn about you, we understand you live in communities. You sacrifice for each other. And not just those of your own kind, but you coordinate, communicate and collaborate to feed and nurture the other species around you — resilience through diversity.

Your communities are the most generous I have ever visited, yet we cut them down and tear their roots from the earth. You know we prefer your elders — the older, the better — but we’ll take your babies too. We just need more of them. We’ll plant farms in their place and eagerly anticipate the next crusade.

Ancient peaceful giants, please know that many of us are thankful for your sacrifice. We honour and defend you because we know without you there is nothing.

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  1. Chris Cowland

    Thank goodness we finally have an elected official who cares. This is not tree-hugging, this is like protectIng the Egyptian pyramids against people who want to use the blocks to build walls. Please use that analogy.

  2. Jennifer Kennedy

    A friend lent me her April/May copy of “Chatelaine”, a mainstream women’s magazine. This month is completely dedicated to Green Issues – “175 little ways to save the Planet”. One of the astonishing notes was that paper towels are normally made with paper that comes from old growth forests!!

  3. Chris Istace

    Without you ~ there is nothing.
    This is the dire message that is not reaching those that control the provinces forest. As like your message shared, we must convey that the ancient forests truly are living beings of community. They are our elders

  4. Bill F Foster

    Great Post

  5. Robert Bruce

    Export of old growth should be banned immediately. “If any is to be cut”, eg: for a totem pole to be carved or for some higher value use (salvage old growth could be used for this) eg: on a case by case basis, timber for restoration projects or boatbuilding etc. (very limited). Otherwise, no more harvesting of old growth. As a former logger, I don’t want to see the elimination of more of the remaining “very small” percentage of old growth continue.


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