Defending ancient trees: It’s in our fibre

Jun 12, 2019 | Blog, Economy, Environment, Governance, Society | 0 comments

Tension is growing in the forests across British Columbia so I thought it was appropriate to reflect on my work in the Spring session of the legislature standing up for our most treasured ancient creatures.

Fresh images of devastating clearcuts hacked from the valley walls of Schmidt Creek, Naka Creek, Tessium Creek and Upper Tsitika Watersheds is inspiring another wave of protests. Public frustration is building.

The response of the government has been to try to find the middle of the road. As Minister of Forests, Hon. Doug Donaldson said in his response to me in question period on May 8th and he has repeated many times since,

“We’re blessed with amazing forests in this province. There are a variety of perspectives on old-growth management. Our government is committed to protecting the important biodiversity of old-growth forests. We also recognize the value of old-growth forests as they sustain wildlife, an important part of B.C.’s natural heritage. We’re also committed to ensuring the continued vibrancy and an innovative forest sector. Over 24,000 people are employed in the coastal forest sector.”

This statement ignores the reality that we cannot protect biodiversity by cutting it, and that communities are already in transition. We know we have very little old-growth left and someone is going to have to make the hard decision to stop scarring the mountainsides with clearcuts. After decades of neglect we need a government that is willing to work with communities to re-build economic, social and environmental resilience. Instead, it’s a message box, essentially making the same claims of the previous government that we can have our cake and eat it too!

The BC Greens are calling on the BC NDP government to implement a moratorium on the few old-growth hotspots left on Vancouver Island and to immediately transition to a sustainable forest economy.

We are asking British Columbians to join us in our call – ADD YOUR NAME HERE!

I invite you to check out some of my recent work on this important issue.


The trifecta: Big bears, big fish and big trees

The trifecta: Big bears, big fish and big trees

May 21, 2019

A few months ago, I wrote on the whiteboard in my office boardroom “big bears, big fish and big trees.” Those words have been there ever since. They are three world-famous icons of British Columbia.

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Speaking to our old-growth forests

Speaking to our old-growth forests

May 9, 2019

The BC Green Caucus is committed to changing the current BC NDP approach to managing old-growth forests. We have been asking about the BC NDP approach this past week so in my two-minute statement I spoke directly to our elders.

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What about clear-cut logging on private land?

What about clear-cut logging on private land?

May 30, 2019

Another troubling aspect of forest management in the province is on private land. We have been inundated with correspondence. People in the Southern Gulf Islands, Cowichan Valley and the Kootenays are deeply concerned. They worry about a variety of issues including climate change, water quality and slope stability. Currently, it appears there is little that local government leaders can do to protect the interests of their constituents.

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Calling for a moratorium on logging old-growth

Calling for a moratorium on logging old-growth
May 13, 2019

We are calling on the provincial government to immediately halt logging in the few intact, high productivity old-growth hot spots that have been identified by First Nations, scientists, communities, and conservationists as areas of critical conservation value.

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A curling rink roof or sustainable old-growth?

A curling rink roof or sustainable old-growth?

May 8, 2019

The BC NDP government continues to stubbornly defend clear-cutting high productivity old-growth forests. The defense that has been vocalized by the Minister of Forests is that he has a clear understanding of the value of old-growth for biodiversity, but he balances that with an understanding of the economic value of clear-cutting old-growth.

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Stop managing old-growth to zero

Stop managing old-growth to zero

May 14, 2019

Old-growth is an endangered, non-renewable resource. Either we act now or we will run out completely. Forestry continues to be a flashpoint in British Columbia. More than 20,000 people have emailed my office demanding we act and we cannot delay any longer.

Read More…


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