Island’s elected officials vote against resolution to protect all of B.C.’s old-growth forests

Elected officials from around Vancouver Island have voted against a resolution calling for the protection of all of British Columbia’s old-growth forests.

The topic sparked a lengthy debate at the Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities Association General Assembly in Nanaimo on Saturday, April 15. City councilors and district supervisors representing more than 50 communities were in the city throughout the weekend for meetings at the Vancouver Island Convention Centre.

The Metchosin District resolution calls on the B.C. government to protect all remaining native forest areas in the province from logging and asks local governments to be consulted when implementing the recommendations of the BC Native Forest Review Group.

Metchosin Coun. Jay Shukin cites the latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which recommends that the next most impactful action, besides shifting to renewable energy sources like wind and destruction”.

Among the delegates supporting the resolution was Saanich Coun. Till Phelps Bundarov. He said a more “holistic look” was needed when discussing older trees, going beyond their value as carbon sinks or economic development opportunities.

“When we look at climate change, we also have to be aware that climate disruption is affecting ecosystems and the species that live in them,” he said. “Old-growth forests are rich habitats for species found only there.”

Nanaimo District Supervisor Jessica Stanley said she acknowledged the debate about trying to right past wrongs for Aboriginal people who have historically been excluded from economic opportunities, but said she must vote for the next A resolution made by a generation.

“At some point, we’ll need to make very hard decisions that are fundamentally rooted in the recommendations in the IPCC report about what we must do to try to at least mitigate the effects of climate change,” she said.

However, most delegates opposed the first part of the resolution, which called for the protection of all remaining old trees.

county. Fred Robertson, from Port Hardy, said the motion was for the wrong person.

“This is a motion about forestry, not about climate change…Old-growth forests are a bigger carbon sink, but in terms of carbon sequestration, carbon dioxide uptake, secondary forests exceed that,” he said.

Lake Cowichan Mayor Tim McGonigle referred to the Fairy Creek protests near his area and said elected officials should respect the procedures of the province’s Old Tree Review Panel.

“It’s important to remember that those Aboriginal people who are affected in these discussions have the final say on what happens,” he said.

Huu-ay-aht County. Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District president John Jack said Aboriginal people would be the most affected by the total moratorium on old tree logging.

“From the perspective of Aboriginal people involved in forestry, they’re not trees that you can decide on,” he said. “We have to strike a balance. Indigenous peoples will not be able to thrive economically if we are forced to rely solely on government transfers.”

The final speaker, Qathet Regional District director Andrew Fall, said that while there may have been some experts in the room at the meeting, most did not and they should trust the advice of the old growth review panel.

“They’ve done it carefully, they’ve done a lot of science, they’ve done it thinking about the future, protecting ecosystems, which I think is a really important issue, and they’re doing it for a reason,” he said. “They’re not about everything, but about protecting enough different kinds of ancient plants.”

Delegates voted against the first part of the resolution but voted in favor of the second part, which calls for local government participation and consultation to follow the recommendations of the old growth review panel.

[email protected]
like us Facebook and follow us Twitter

Forestry Municipal Government

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *