As you are likely aware, the old-growth forests of B.C.’s Inland Temperate Rainforest are special and rare.
These ancient trees and complex forests play a vital role in maintaining biodiversity and genetic diversity, storing carbon and staving off climate change impacts.
We all benefit from the cool refuge, water, plants and animals that these inland old growth rainforests provide. For endangered species like mountain caribou, these threatened forests are their only home.
For years scientists have been highlighting the need to protect more of the Inland Temperate Rainforest, including in the Upper Columbia region near Revelstoke, B.C. But this has been very difficult, due to the tenures held by logging companies in the region.
In response to conflicts like these, the provincial government has promised a new approach to forestry: in fact, a “paradigm shift.” The paradigm shift is slow to arrive in the Inland Temperate Rainforest, but there is a great opportunity right now.
Your comments needed by November 30
Recently we found out that the U.S. logging company Louisiana-Pacific, which holds licenses to log vast areas of the Inland Temperate Rainforest, wants to sell its assets to another U.S. corporation: Pacific Woodtech.
But transferring the right to log these trees must be approved by the B.C. Minister of Forests. And there is a lot at stake.
The B.C. government has the legal ability to stop this transfer, in full or in part. This is a chance to save endangered caribou and protect critical old growth forests before they are totally gone, by freeing up space on the landscape for the implementation of conservation solutions.
Public comment on the proposed transfer closes Wednesday, Nov. 30. Please tell B.C.'s Minister of Forests that allowing this transfer as proposed is not in the public interest.
First Nations in the Upper Columbia are also calling for the paradigm shift. They want to see old growth logging halted in their territories, to create space for conservation solutions that work for everyone.
Stand up today for ancient forests, mountain caribou, and Indigenous rights. Please provide your comments to the B.C. government TODAY.
We’ve outlined a few of the strongest points for your consideration, below.
A thousand thanks,
Y2Y B.C. and Yukon program director
Suggested comments to include:
Please do not approve the transfer of logging rights for TFL 55 and other logging licenses from Louisiana-Pacific to Pacific Woodtech.
Your government has committed to mountain caribou recovery, old growth protection, and the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People Act. Approving this transer will undermine your ability to make your commitments real on the ground.
- Transferring these tenures to another timber company is a missed opportunity to address First Nations conservation objectives, including protection of caribou habitat and old growth forest.
The province can walk the talk and do adequate land-use planning, old growth and caribou recovery initiatives, as required by ministerial mandates.
- Allowing the transfer of Louisiana-Pacific’s timber tenures would be a short-sighted decision for Indigenous rights, caribou and our rare old-growth forests.
Your government has promised a “new approach to old forests” with a commitment to inclusive planning with Indigenous nations on environmental, economic and reconciliation benefits. This sale is in unceded territories of the Ktunaxa, Sinixt, Syilx/Okanagan, and Secwepemc Nations. The Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act Action Plan, or DRIPA, requires the Ministry of Forests to “co-develop strategic-level policies, programs and initiatives to advance collaborative stewardship of the environment, land and resources, that address cumulative effects and respects Indigenous Knowledge.”
Header photo: A logging truck in interior B.C., Lynn Trinh