Report Suggests Logging Wildlife Corridors to Feed Mills
A leaked confidential report to British Columbia's cabinet outlines dramatic changes to provincial forest policy in order to keep B.C. mills operating in the short term. Alarmingly, the proposed changes would allow logging of wildlife corridors and old-growth forests in the Interior.
The report, leaked to media on April 18, "proposes shifting forest management from a stewardship model to one that puts short-term economic interests first – but warns that such a dramatic policy change could trigger legal challenges and that it might meet with opposition from B.C.’s chief forester," said the Globe and Mail.
Read the op-ed in the Times Colonist.
In response, Sierra Club BC and other environmental groups sent an open letter to the B.C. government, highlighting the dangers in moving precipitously to fill timber supply shortfalls at the expense of the environment.
"Opening up reserves and view corridors for logging to fill timber supply shortfalls will have a long-term effect on the environment without a long-term benefit to communities," said the letter. "While the action might extend the life of a mill for a relatively short time it would undermine, for the better part of a century or more, the benefits these areas were set aside for, whether for tourism or for habitat, soil retention or water flow regulation."
B.C.'s temperate rainforests are one of the best carbon storehouses on the planet. The Sierra Club BC report Restoring the Balance for Climate and Species showed that current logging practices in old-growth rainforests cause massive loss of carbon storage. The ability to recover total carbon stores is limited for hundreds of years. At a time when our planet is more affected by global warming than ever before, it is unsustainable and reckless to jeopardize wildlife habitat and biodiversity for short-lived economic gain.