Recently a couple of dozen Comox Valley residents attended a rally to join the growing movement in B.C. to preserve what’s left of the old-growth forests.
One side of 5th Street was lined with signs saying, “Stop logging the Old Growth,” “Our salmon need Old Growth” and “223 scientists say Stop,” while on the other side, the signs read, “Forestry Feeds My Family.”
The rally ended with a heated discussion between a forestry worker and a couple of forest protectors. This confrontation left me feeling rather discouraged about the months ahead, as the forestry industry suffers and both sides blame each other for the difficult situation that we find ourselves in.
Whose responsibility is it to keep forestry workers employed while at the same time protecting the last remaining stands of old-growth forests?
I hold our government responsible for not having the vision and leadership to transition to a kind of forestry plan that does not include destroying what’s left of the old-growth forest ecosystems.
It’s been 27 years since Clayoquot’s “war in the woods.” Our understanding of the ecology and the economic impacts has deepened, yet there has been very little meaningful action on the part of the decision-makers to support both forestry workers and the environment.
This is not an ‘us and them’ situation; rather it is a time to demand our elected representatives to take steps to both “feed our families” and “save the old growth.”
And it’s going to take some visionary leadership and co-operation.