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Letter to John Horgan urges B.C. premier to save old-growth forests

Last Updated Jun 18, 2021 at 7:06 am PDT

Protesters march past stacks of lumber during a demonstration against old-growth logging, at Teal-Jones Group sawmill in Surrey, B.C., on Sunday, May 30, 2021. Teal-Jones holds licenses allowing it to log in the Fairy Creek Watershed on Vancouver Island. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

More than 100 people, including scientists, academics, musicians, and Olympians, have signed the letter

Just 2.7 per cent of large-tree, old-growth forests remain in B.C., letter says

'Some things can't be replaced,' letter to B.C. Premier John Horgan demanding the protection of old-growth forests reads

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A number of prominent people across Canada and the world have signed a letter to Premier John Horgan demanding an immediate stop to old-growth logging.

More than 100 people, including scientists, academics, musicians, and Olympians, have signed the letter, which calls for the immediate protection of all remaining iconic old-growth forests in B.C.

“I have dedicated my career to studying these magnificent forests and can affirm that the immediate protection of the old-growth forests of British Columbia is absolutely urgent,” said scientist Dr. Suzanne Simard, a member of UBC Forestry. “Old-growth forests are essential hubs in vast interconnected networks. It is essential, for the health of the forest, and the health of our planet, that we do everything we can to keep them standing.”

Notable signatories include Grand Chief Steward Phillip, former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, former Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, singer Bryan Adams, and Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

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Supporters say they’ve signed on to the letter to urge Horgan to take action to stop logging irreplaceable forests and develop a “21st-century economy.”

According to the letter, just 2.7 per cent of large-tree, old-growth forests remain around the province.

“Some things can’t be replaced,” it reads. “British Columbia used to be the land of giants, with trees towering 250 feet tall. For thousands of years, these forests have cleaned our air and water, nurtured species, stabilized the climate, and been stewarded by Indigenous Nations through the jurisdictional management of their traditional lands.

“Today, logging continues even though less than 3% of these vital, old-growth forests remain,” it continues.

Protestors have been pushing for months to prevent crews from cutting down old-growth trees on Vancouver Island. On June 9, Horgan said old growth in the Fairy Creek watershed and central Walbran area would not take place for at least two years, honouring a request for a deferral from the Pacheedaht, Ditidaht and Huu-ay-aht First Nations.

Before the BC NDP was re-elected, Horgan pledged to follow a report with recommendations to protect B.C.’s old-growth forests. Almost a year later, none of the recommendations have been acted upon.