LETTER – Courtenay biologist outraged by government’s stance on old-growth logging

Dear editor,

I am a registered professional biologist.

I am 68+ years of age. Technically I am retired, but I keep active and stay professionally active. I donate 100 per cent of my work pro bono, because my many degrees were paid for by the generosity of B.C. taxpayers who trusted in the abilities of my gray matter.

There are some simple facts British Columbians should be made aware of.

For three days from May 29-31, I joined a group of research scientists interested in doing a preliminary assessment of the flora and fauna of Fairy Creek. In keeping with the judgment of the BC Forest Practices Board in the Nahmint Watershed, BC Timber Sales failed to comply with the legal requirement to carry out a biodiversity assessment before handing out cutblock permits. We do not know what is or what is not in the Fairy Creek watershed, before we cut.

In order to determine what species may be at risk in Fairy Creek, Canadian biologists have formed a research group. I went to Fairy Creek with members of the Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists, COSEWIC and the Association of Professional Biologists of BC to determine possible access for an objective comprehensive scientific survey by BC’s best experts. We were blocked access by the RCMP under a number of pretexts for three days. This is the kind of obstruction that Russian scientists are familiar with. Put simply, in B.C., as in Trump’s USA, scientific research is obstructed for political reasons.

It does not matter what political party you happen to belong to. It does not matter if you like the protestors or not. As British Columbians, you should consider that the NDP government of John Horgan obstructs scientific research necessary to provide objective facts.

There are three simple facts that every British Columbian needs to consider. First the Merkel/Gorley report makes clear that a moratorium should be immediate. Second only three per cent of the landmass of B.C. can support ‘productive old growth.” We are told of that three per cent only 2.7 per cent remains.

If you are bad at simple math, that means that only 0.00081 or .0081% remains (.03 x .027=.00081). This is a point at which Newfoundlanders faced a similar choice with regards to northern cod.

If this is correct, no British Columbian should remain silent. This government is morally bankrupt. Are we to remain silent about this?

Loys Maingon (M.A., PhD, MSc, RPBio),


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