What does ‘deferral’ really mean, when applied to our forests? We at Greater Victoria Acting Together are concerned that many have been misled by announcements of old-growth logging deferrals.
It would be reasonable to assume that deferred land, and the wildlife within it, is protected, at least for the deferral period. In fact, road building can still be permitted in deferred areas. Road building involves removal of trees and disruption of habitat. It creates corridors into wilderness, which not only prepares an area for eventual logging, but also facilitates extraction of resources which fall conveniently outside the purview of forestry reform.
The Old-Growth Strategic Review, which the government agreed to uphold, asserts that we must recognize “conservation of ecosystem health and biodiversity of British Columbia’s forests as an overarching priority.” Road building in sensitive ecosystems defies this assertion. We urge our politicians and corporate leaders to get their priorities straight.
Amalia Schelhorn, Jane Welton and Eric Doherty
Greater Victoria Acting Together