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Forest March BC

Fri, Sep 18, 4:00 pm
Town: 
Vernon
Venue: 
MLA Office - 3209 31st Ave
Sponsor: 
All over BC people are demanding new Forestry legislation that protects forests, wildlife, communities and jobs. We're on the brink of an extinction crisis. It's time for change.
 
Just short of 50 people came to the Vernon office of local MLA Eric Foster for the march, starting at 4:00pm, for speeches by Eli Pivnick and Huguette Allen, then for singing and marching along 30th Ave and back along 32nd Ave.
Forest March BC
 
Looking around BC, we see what may look like forests but are in fact almost all plantations.
What’s the problem with that, you may ask? Isn’t it better to manage forests? Don’t young forests capture more carbon, grow faster and provide more food for animals?

NO, NO and NO.  Forests have existed for hundreds of millions of years without human intervention and did far better. This 4 minute video shows why. While deer like to browse on young trees, most wildlife need real forests, one of the reasons BC is facing an extinction crisis.

Open DoorsWe need to:
  • stop logging what’s left of old growth,
  • protect more of our forests so they can become ‘old’ and provide carbon sinks, offer protection against wildfires and support wildlife,
  • incorporate traditional Indigenous ecological knowledge and systems in forest practices.

But what about JOBS and the ECONOMY?

When the economic model leads to reduced job possibilities as well as an extinction crisis, when it increases frequency and virulence of fires and floods, when it exacerbates climate change, it’s time for a makeover. See how old forests survive fires.

Anyone concerned about jobs should remember the cod off the east coast of Canada. Whole communities thrived on its economy, until they were all gone. By the time the government acted it was far too late. Today people from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick work in Fort McMurray.

Eli & HuguetteREAL FORESTS VERSUS PLANTATIONS:
  • Forests have existed for 300 million years.
  • Most areas if left alone long enough will develop into forest. 
  • Forests don’t need humans to “manage" them. On the contrary, the healthiest ones are those left alone.
  • Real forests store carbon. They reduce fire risk because their soil is damp, and deciduous trees contain a lot of water compared to evergreens.
  • As old trees die and fall over they become important habitat for all sorts of organisms, enriching the soil and letting the sun shine through in the gap, so other young trees can grow. Old forests clean the air and the water much better than plantations or young forests.
  • Real forests takes hundreds of years to grow; yet today’s forestry practices can wipe out acres of forests in one day.
Jolie: signsBelow is the letter written by Climate Action Now and S.E.N.S. to MLA Eric Foster

Dear Mr. Foster

Thank you for speaking with me about BC’s  forestry legislation. It is encouraging to hear that the spraying of glyphosate is being phased out and that the government’s new proposal is considering preserving more old growth.

It was also encouraging that you recognize that much of replanted forests are, in your words, monocultures. Same-aged, same species stands are much more vulnerable to fires and disease, as you stated. Happy to hear that you are attending an event this week looking at innovations in fire-fighting.

I know that you stated, and I agree, that the economics of forestry has to be taken into consideration. However, when the economic model is leading to reduced job possibilities by favouring large corporations over small local operators and allowing raw log exports, when it is leading to an extinction crisis (https://thenarwhal.ca/bc-extinction-crisis/) and accelerating the climate crisis [...], then the economic model itself needs a radical makeover.

All over BC on Friday, people will be marching to demand changes to the government’s forestry legislation to ensure: 

  • prioritization of ecosystem health in forestry legislation,
  • science-based decision making,
  • formal involvement of front line communities in the management of public land,
  • prohibition of private corporations from having authority over public land.

Can we count on you as our representative to bring these demands to  the legislature? 

Pity the Nation

Pity the nation whose people are sheep
and whose shepherds mislead them
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars
whose sages are silenced
and whose bigots haunt the airwaves
Pity the nation that raises not its voice
except to praise conquerers
and acclaim the bully as hero
Pity the nation whose breath is money
and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed
Pity the nation Oh pity the people
who allow their land to be ruined
their water to be polluted
and their freedoms to be washed away.

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