David Barnes has collected over 10,000 signatures on a petition that seeks to draw attention to old-growth trees in Shawnigan that are in danger. (Submitted photo)

David Barnes has collected over 10,000 signatures on a petition that seeks to draw attention to old-growth trees in Shawnigan that are in danger. (Submitted photo)

LETTER – B.C. government is all talk, no action when it comes to old-growth forest

Dear editor,

So MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard says her government’s commitment to ‘balanced’ old-growth management is “unfaltering.’

Since election in 2017 on a pledge of old-growth protection, Ms. Leonard and Mr. Horgan have presided over the logging of a million acres of old growth, even as B.C. lost six forestry jobs a day. Public pressure finally drove them to convene the Old Growth Review Panel, and they promised to fully implement their recommendations.

The Panel called for an “immediate response’ to the loss of 97 per cent of B.C.’s ancient forests, and recommended, “Until a new strategy is implemented, defer development in old forests where ecosystems are at very high and near-term risk of irreversible biodiversity loss.”

But despite Horgan’s and Leonard’s promise to honour that specific and urgent recommendation, Forestry Minister Conroy says logging the pitiful remnants of these once mighty ancient forests must continue to save jobs while management plans are put in place. However, the panel called for support for forest workers and Indigenous communities to adapt to the old-growth moratorium and the transition to a sustainable second-growth industry, but despite holding power for four years, the government is only now working on these plans, and very little funding has appeared.

A million acres gone forever? Four years of inaction? A slew of broken promises? This is ‘unfaltering’ commitment?

Gillian Anderson,

Merville

forestryLetter to the Editor

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