Multi-Faith Resolution on Old-Growth Forest Protection and Sustainable Forestry
British Columbia’s old-growth forests are a unique and beautiful part of creation. Home to trees that can live to almost 2,000 years of age and tower over 300 feet (95 metres) tall, BC’s ancient forests are some of the grandest forests on Earth.
Old-growth forests are home to much flora and fauna, including unique and endangered species that require old-growth forests to flourish. Old-growth forests are also important for sustaining tourism, recreation, clean water, wild salmon, climate stability, and quality of life for British Columbians.
Old-growth forests provide and support unparalleled opportunities for connection with the natural environment. Some of the recreation opportunities old-growth forests support include hiking and camping in areas such as the Carmanah and Walbran Valleys, Meares Island, and Pacific Rim National Park; kayaking and paddling in Clayoquot Sound and the Broken Group Islands; hiking and rafting in the Elaho Valley and the Capilano River; and other recreational opportunities such as recreational fishing, wildlife viewing, bird-watching, forest bathing, photography, caving, geocaching, and more.
Many First Nations cultures in the province depend upon old-growth forests for their food, medicines, building materials and spiritual needs. Monumental old-growth redcedar trees are of particular importance for building canoes, longhouses, totems, and masks. While the protection of old-growth forests in First Nations' territories would support their cultures and help lay the foundation for sustainable economies, many of these communities lack the financial capacity and support needed to diversify their economies so that old-growth forests can be protected rather than logged.
A century of industrial logging has depleted old-growth forests over vast areas of British Columbia, threatening ecosystems, communities, and First Nations cultures.
Most of the productive forests in British Columbia are now second-growth forests. Forest industries in most of Canada and throughout the western world are now overwhelmingly sustained by second- and third-growth forests. BC’s forest sector can and must transition to a sustainable, second-growth industry in order to sustain forestry jobs and allow endangered old-growth forests to be protected.
Therefore, we ask that the Province of British Columbia:
1. Develop a science-based, legislated plan to protect endangered old-growth forests in BC to sustain both the economy and the ecology of the province.
2. Support policies that facilitate a sustainable, value-added, second-growth forest industry in BC, as second-growth forests now constitute the majority of its productive forest lands.
3. Support the sustainable economic development of First Nations communities through conservation financing mechanisms that assist new Indigenous enterprises to develop. This will help First Nations communities grow and diversify economically in such enterprises as cultural and eco-tourism, clean energy, sustainable seafood, and value-added, second-growth forestry, while keeping their old-growth forests alive and standing.
The Ancient Forest Alliance occasionally creates press releases and holds events that showcase the broad-based support of old-growth forest protection involving various groups spanning far beyond the environmental movement. Please check the following boxes if you are interested in participating and sharing your voice!
Willing to be named publicly in media releases, public presentations, etc.
Willing to speak to news media about your organization’s support for old-growth forest protection
Would like to be informed via email about events and other opportunities to show support for old- growth forests
sign digital copy here. Note that the petition is in several languages. The small American flag designates this copy is in English.