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LETTER: How can forestry companies claim sustainability while clearcutting old-growth and second-growth forests?

Dear editor,
Save Our Forests Team - Comox Valley (SOFT-CV) questions how logging companies can claim sustainable practices while clearcutting old-growth and second-growth forests. Photo supplied

Dear editor,

In a December 2022 complaint filed with the Federal Competition Bureau of Canada, Canadian environmental groups and Ecojustice levelled a greenwashing case against the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).

The complaint alleges SFI’s claims of sustainability are “false and misleading” because it has “no rules requiring that logging meet prescribed sustainability criteria nor any on-the-ground assessment to confirm sustainability.” The complaint asserts that industry claims of “sustainability” are “greenwashing” because SFI only certifies a process, and logging companies are not evaluated to ensure that the outcome of their operations is sustainable.

Ecojustice states :“The misrepresentations made by the SFI have contributed and continue to contribute to unsustainable logging globally and in Canada on an immense scale.”

BC Premier Eby’s mandate letter for new Forests Minister Bruce Ralston acknowledges the “inescapable recognition … that change is needed to ensure our forest industry is sustainable,” while commenting elsewhere that “short-term thinking” on land management has “exhausted” forests.

In B.C., SFI-certified Mosaic Forest Management claims to be operating at a higher and better environmental standard than legally required, even as Premier Eby’s observations suggest B.C.’s legal requirements are inadequate.

Mosaic has been logging near Mount Washington, notably at the Ramparts Creek area visible from the main road. Sustainable logging conserves the ecological balance of a forest. But it is hard to understand how Mosaic’s complete clear-cutting of this mixed old-growth and second-growth forest can be called “sustainable.”

Google Earth images of Mosaic/Timberwest private lands show that Mosaic is logging at a faster rate than is happening on public lands, with virtually no regulation.

We are in full agreement with the greenwashing complaint, and we call on Mosaic to be honest about the “sustainability” of their logging practices, whatever certification they have. Show us the results, especially as they relate to the forests adjacent to Strathcona Park/Ramparts Creek/Mount Washington.


Members of Save Our Forests Team - Comox Valley (SOFT-CV)

About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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