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LETTER: NDP government fails to protect old growth

The NDP’s pre-election claim that it has “protected” nearly 353,000 hectares of old growth forests is all spin.

Firstly, a two-year delay, aka deferral in logging, is not protection; and government figures, as usual, are totally, wildly and deliberately misleading. Only 3,800 hectares of productive old-growth forest is being deferred, a mere one per cent of the amount the NDP claims is off the chopping block for two years.

Lots of wool to pull, but our eyes are still open and witnessing the sham talk and log practises of this government, even as they try and foist their propaganda on the vast majority of the population calling for an outright end to the liquidation of these forests and a sharp shift to real sustainable forestry practises on the 90 per cent of the forested land-base that has been converted to mono-culture tree plantations.

Their ceremonious announcement will offer no protection for the last, rare and irreplaceable 35,000 hectares of ancient forest with “very large” trees left in so-called B.C. There is no protection for the last 380,000 hectares of forest with “large” trees.

These numbers were provided by two independent scientists and a registered professional forester in the Last Stand report published in April. The industrial destruction of these internationally significant old-growth temperate rain forests, critical carbon sinks and repositories of biodiversity found nowhere else on Earth, continues unabated, even accelerated under the B.C. NDP.

The last of the ancient old growth forests are not even provided a two-year reprieve from logging. More than 140,000 hectares of old growth is logged each year in B.C. – less than three years to liquidation.

As B.C. status quo resource extraction politics continues to offer little to sustain the abundant natural ecosystems that have long supported Indigenous cultures on this coast, it is heartening to see a vibrant grassroots campaign of settler-Indigenous solidarity come together at Ada’itxs/Fairy Creek to directly defend the land where government, Liberal or NDP, have failed to do so.

Please join and support this movement at oldgrowthblockade.com.

Bobby Arbess

Victoria