Protection sought for BC’s old-growth forests

A group of 100 prominent Canadians, including indigenous leaders Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and Chief Rande Cook, are calling for immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in British Columbia.

In a statement released on June 18 by the environmental nonprofit entity Canopy, the signers said that only 2.7% of large tree old-growth forests remain in British Columbia, and that despite recent small deferrals, these endangered forests are still being logged, including Great Bear Rainforest.

“Old-growth forests are essential hubs in vast interconnected networks,” said Suzanne Simard, a professor of forest ecology at the University of British Columbia, who is best known for her research on the underground networks of forests. “It is essential, for the health of the forest, and the health of our planet, that we do everything we can to keep them standing,” she said.

The group’s open letter to the government of British Columbia also ran as a full-page ad in the Globe and Mail newspaper.

“Science and the public imagination have converged; both know it’s time to stop the logging of BC’s old-growth forests,” said Nicole Rycroft, executive director of Canopy. “We don’t doubt that this will be challenging, but all of us understand ambitious conservation is necessary now.”

More information about Canopy is available online at www.canopyplanet.org