Environmental groups give BC low marks for ancient forest protection plan

British Columbia environmental groups give the province low marks for its progress in protecting endangered old-growth forests, two years after the government promised to implement more than a dozen report recommendations.

In their semi-annual report, the Ancient Forest Alliance, Sierra Club BC, Stand.earth and the Wilderness Committee rated the province “Fs” for how well it has adhered to the three-year plan and prioritized ecosystem integrity and biodiversity. This was followed by a “D-” for its transparency and communication, and a “D” for the immediate actions taken for endangered forests.

“We’re still marching toward ecosystem and climate collapse,” said Jens Wieting, senior forest and climate campaigner at Sierra Club BC. “The BC government has been dishonest about progress. We haven’t seen the paradigm shift. Endangered primeval forests are still being cleared.”

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Grades for four of the five key issues have fallen since the last report card in March.

BC environmental groups have given the province several poor and near-poor marks for the measures it has taken to protect old-growth forests from logging.

The Old-Growth Strategic Review Panel released its report on September 11, 2020, including 14 recommendations it said should be completed by 2023. These include immediate shifts in logging in some of the most vulnerable areas, helping communities transition from their reliance on logging for legacy timber, and better engagement with impacted First Nations communities.

Click here to play the video:'Public being fooled': Environmental group claims protecting ancient forests isn't working

‘Public being fooled’: Environmental group claims old growth forest protection isn’t working

‘Public being fooled’: Environmental group claims old-growth forest protection isn’t working – 30 August 2022

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“The BC government, Premier (John) Horgan, promised to implement all recommendations,” Wieting said. “It’s been two years now. The recommendations were shared with a three-year framework. There’s only a year left, but we haven’t seen the promised change. In fact, even some of the most endangered old-growth forests are still being logged.”

Global News has reached out to the Forest Department for comment on the testimony.

Last November, an independent legacy technical advisory board identified 2.6 million hectares of unprotected, endangered legacy vegetation to be prioritized for deferral — temporary suspension of logging — in BC

Click here to play the video:

British Columbia announces that 2.6 million hectares of old-growth forest will be preserved

British Columbia announces that 2.6 million hectares of native forest will be preserved – November 2, 2021

However, environmental groups say it is unclear what deferrals would halt permitted logging, and ongoing monitoring shows clear-cutting is continuing in areas recommended for deferral.

Last month, a Stand.earth report found that more than 55,000 hectares of vulnerable old growth land is “imminently at risk” of logging, is in the process of logging, or has already been logged.

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Continue reading:

A new report suggests that proposed old growth stall areas are being logged in BC

In an Aug. 30 statement, British Columbia Forest Minister Katrine Conroy said the Stand.earth report “misses the wood for the trees” and misled the public as to the extent of logging.

Only 0.3 percent of proposed deferral areas have been harvested since November, according to Conroy, who added that nearly 1.7 million hectares of logging have been deferred in partnership with First Nations.

However, the Stand.earth report suggests that between March 2021 and 2022, 1,600 hectares of forest in these proposed deferral areas were cleared in four sample areas.

Continue reading:

Save Old Growth on defense after BC judge compares tactics to “using people as cannon fodder”.

Despite the recent dismal report card, Wieting said it’s not too late for the province to raise its grades.

“But they only have one year,” he said. “So the next Prime Minister has to make that a priority because this is an issue that we cannot delay. Further delays mean there will be no more endangered old-growth forests. That must be protected to protect the web of life that depends on these forests and help us mitigate the worst impacts of climate change.”

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-With files by Elizabeth McSheffrey

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

https://globalnews.ca/news/9118457/old-growth-report-card-bc-failing/ Environmental groups give BC low marks for ancient forest protection plan


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: hung@interreviewed.com.

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