For immediate release
November 2, 2021
VICTORIA, B.C. – Today the B.C. NDP announced their intention to work on deferrals of old-growth logging.
“Government is acknowledging previous miscalculations of B.C.’s old growth inventory and moving forward on the basis of science, and this is a good start,” said Sonia Furstenau, leader of the B.C. Green Party and MLA for Cowichan Valley. “They intend to implement logging deferrals in 2.6 million hectares of old-growth forests, as per the recommendations of the technical advisory panel. Over a year and a half after receiving the Old Growth Strategic Review, this is an essential and overdue first step.”
“We have been calling for action on old-growth for years as logging of these forests has continued. I’m pleased to see that maps and information about the remaining old-growth inventory will be publicly released,” MLA Furstenau continued. “British Columbians deserve this transparency – but there’s still more to do.
“This year, the actions at Fairy Creek became the largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history. Climate change and wildfires ravaged the province’s communities and forests. Deferrals are important – but they must be paired with significant funding, and informed by a long-term vision for the paradigm shift that is necessary if we are going to truly manage forests for ecosystem health in BC.
“Questions remain about funding for transition programs, and there is a lack of clarity on how these deferrals will lead to meaningful protection for forests and communities.”
“This government did not properly consult with First Nations prior to making these announcements, and now they’re giving them thirty days to indicate whether or not they support deferrals,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands and a member of Tsartlip First Nation. “I’m relieved to see funding tied to this tight timeline, but so far, First Nations have been very clear that they do not feel adequately heard on forest management in this province.
“Government is continuing old habits by leaving First Nations out of the loop and then rushing them through a significant decision-making process. First Nations deserve – and are legally entitled to – full consultation as the rights holders of their own territories.”
B.C. Green Caucus
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