Tim Louis: Stop logging old-growth forests immediately

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      As the climate crisis continues to get worse by the day, old-growth forests are one of our last remaining hopes. They are the lungs of our planet. It is therefore inconceivable to me that the B.C. government continues to permit any logging of our old-growth forests.

      Provincial statistics suggest that there are approximately 11.1 million hectares of old-growth forest in B.C. According to news reports, 3.5 million hectares are protected and the government has very recently announced a temporary halt to logging a further 2.6 million hectares, pending First Nations approval.

      The balance of B.C.'s old-growth forests remains unprotected and continues to be logged.

      A local environmental group, Save Old Growth, is demanding that the government pass legislation to immediately end all old-growth logging in the province of British Columbia.

      Two of their members—57-year-old Brent Eichler and 68-year-old Howard Breen—undertook hunger strikes on March 25 and April 1, respectively, designed to force a public meeting with Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, to discuss the protection of the last remaining B.C. old-growth forests.

      Eichler spoke with CBC’s Stephen Quinn on April 26 after ending his hunger strike the day before. He had consumed nothing but water with salt and lemon for 33 days.

      Breen was briefly hospitalized on April 24, the 24th day of his hunger strike, and has said he will continue to go without food until the end of this month.

      According to the Ancient Forest Alliance, mapping based on B.C. government data from 2012 indicates that about 74 percent of the original, productive old-growth forests on B.C.’s southern coast have been logged, while about eight percent are protected in parks and old-growth management areas.

      This terrible practice of logging old-growth forests not only makes the crisis of global warming even more terrible as massive amounts of carbon are no longer removed from the atmosphere, but also permanently destroys incredibly complex and beautiful ecosystems.

      I salute Brent Eichler and Howard Breen. 

      Daily atmospheric CO2 [Courtesy of CO2.Earth]

      Latest daily total (April 28, 2022): 419.16ppm

      One year ago (April 28, 2021): 419.75 pm

      Tim Louis is a Vancouver lawyer and former city councillor and park commissioner. This article first appeared on his blogThe Georgia Straight publishes opinions like this from the community to encourage constructive debate on important issues.