Re: Response to January 3, 2019 article: “Sierra Club calls for increased protection of B.C. forests as Brazilian president raises spectre of Amazon deforestation”

Once again, old-growth logging has been inaccurately held up as the catalyst for unacceptable timber harvesting practices in BC.  Jens Wieting of the Sierra Club suggests, “we need to safeguard remaining intact rainforests and the life support systems we all depend on before it’s too late.”

The truth is, time is not running out. Through existing conservation efforts, we are never going to run out of old growth on Vancouver Island. In fact, it is the law in BC to replant and reforest with natural, indigenous species for all areas harvested on Crown land; 200 million trees are planted annually in BC, or about three seedlings for every tree that is harvested. The BC forest industry embraces conservation-based forest management; examples include the extensive amount of protected areas such as the Great Bear Rainforest, and conservation of thousands of hectares through parks, old growth management, and riparian areas.

Old-growth logging is important for our economy because it keeps our domestic mills operating.  Protecting more old growth would put four pulp and paper mills and numerous sawmills on the Coast at risk of going out of business. The jobs of well-paid loggers and mill workers, and the economic viability of the communities that they live in depend on continuing to sustainably harvest old- and second-growth timber.