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Dominick DellaSala, Barbara Zimmerman and Andy MacKinnon: Call for action on B.C.’s old-growth rainforests

As scientists, we have travelled the world’s rainforests on several continents. Few temperate places rival B.C.’s rich rainforest tapestry and its life-giving benefits.

Canadians are fortunate that B.C.’s globally rare old-growth rainforests are working behind the scenes all the time — helping to stabilize the climate, upholding irreplaceable cultural values of Indigenous peoples, and supporting tourism and recreation jobs. All of that is at risk, however, if logging continues at its current liquidation rate.

This alarming trend recently caught the attention of over 220 of the world’s scientists, who sent a letter to Premier John Horgan calling on the government to protect the remaining intact rainforests.

Unfortunately, British Columbia lacks a provincewide policy for protecting old-growth rainforests. On the one hand, the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement — forged in 2016 by provincial and First Nations governments — is a global conservation model. On the other hand, logging on Vancouver Island and in the Interior is a complete reversal of Canada’s responsible forest management commitments. If B.C. is going to survive the coming climate-change storm, it needs to unify its forest protection policies before its old-growth forest legacy is gone.

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