Trees help keep soil in place and their roots soak up water. Medium-sized trees can intercept as much as 2,380 gallons of rain per year, even greater amounts from old-growth. Unimpeded rain on bare ground leads to heavy erosion and quick runoff. Without trees to soak up water, and hold soil in place, rain runs faster off land.
Scientists, foresters, and Indigenous leaders have repeatedly shown a connection between clearcut logging, forest fires, landslides, and flooding. Revising our current system of forest practices is long overdue and saving old-growth forests is essential in the battle against climate change.
Provincial claims that B.C. is still home to significant amounts of old-growth are very misleading if not downright lies. The province appointed an independent panel of ecologists who previously worked for the government, to gather data on old-growth in 2019. Findings of their report, published in 2020 found only three per cent of B.C. supporting large trees and within that small portion only 2.7 per cent were actually old growth. Who do you believe?
And today despite overwhelming evidence clearly shown by our current disaster, our governments continue to ignore scientific evidence and data and still allow old-growth to be cut. The majority of that meagre three per cent old-growth left standing is still slated to be logged.
Why wasn’t the province better prepared for flooding? Farmers and local communities are demanding, after pleading for the last few years for funding to update infrastructure, warning of the consequences of inaction. Mike Farnworth’s response to why his government wasn’t better prepared for such catastrophe was that a once in 100-year natural disaster “couldn’t be predicted.” Really? It’s a lot easier to blame an unprecedented natural disaster than to act on root causes – the main one being unsustainable and damaging logging practices.
What a legacy to leave to our children!
Anicca de Trey,