(1) 250.472.8528
andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca

This week I sent a letter to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations regarding the ongoing dispute in the Walbran Valley. I was inspired to do so after receiving thousands of emails from British Columbians expressing their concerns about the Teal-Jones Group’s intention to log cut block areas in the Walbran Valley and other old growth forests on Vancouver Island.

Old growth forests provide many important environmental and social functions, serving as homes to numerous species at risk and as popular recreation areas for locals and tourists alike. It is time that they receive a level of protection that reflects their importance to both our ecosystems and our economy.

To ensure this, it is necessary that we take an ecosystem focused and science based assessment in decisions concerning forestry management, and I am concerned that this is not what our government is doing. Instead, by playing the environmental and social concerns off against economic ones, they are merely allowing an unsustainable status quo to continue.

Protecting our remaining old-growth forests while building our forest industry do not have to be competing objectives.  It is time that we take a closer look at the status quo in forestry management in our Province, and ensure that we are looking at all the factors – social, environmental and economic – when we are making decisions.

Please see below to read my letter to the Minister in full.


Letter to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations


Dear Minister Thomson,

I am writing to you with regards to the ongoing dispute in the Walbran Valley, concerning the Teal-Jones Group’s intention to log a cut block in the area.

My office has received over 3000 emails from British Columbians, expressing their concerns about the continued logging of old-growth forests on Vancouver Island.

Old growth forests serve numerous environmental and social functions that need to be better protected. I am concerned that the government’s current approach to this issue implicitly plays the environmental and social concerns off against economic ones.

Similar to how this government has gone about updating our water management, it is essential that we take an ecosystem focused and science based assessment in decisions concerning forestry management. Anything less is merely allowing an unsustainable status quo to continue.

Protecting our few remaining old-growth forests while building our forest industry do not have to be competing objectives. It is time that we take a closer look at the status quo in forestry management in our Province, and ensure that we are looking at all the factors – social, environmental and economic when we are making decisions.

Within this context, I am hoping to get an explanation as to how the government is making its decisions regarding logging in old-growth forests on Vancouver Island.

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Andrew Weaver

MLA, Oak Bay-Gordon Head

3 Comments

  1. Mark Worthing-
    December 11, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Thanks for this. Much appreciated.

  2. Eric Pittman-
    December 11, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Thanks for helping to protect these valuable ecosystems. As we chanted back in the 80’s when Meares Island was on the cutting block, “A tree farm is not a forest.” This has become abundantly clear to me as I study small birds and their habitats. Many woodland creatures cannot exist in previously logged areas. If the logging industry does not have enough tree farms after decades of planting them, then they need to focus on better farming techniques and increasing the yeild of the millions of acres they already have available to them. The remaining old growth forests should be off limits for logging. I would also like you to raise the question of why the logging industry is allowed to litter our oceans and degrade marine habitat with their industrial waste! The entire shoreline of BC is covered in logs which escaped from log booms etc. Every log which has a bucked off end is industrial waste from the logging industry. Those errant logs not only litter the shoreline but pose navigation hazards to small boats (including fishermen) and destroy marine mammal habitats. No other industry would be allowed to leave it’s industrial waste floating around the ocean. Why doesn’t the logging industry clean up after itself and protect our oceans? If it were oil, it would be national news every night till it was cleaned up.

  3. Jennifer Matthews-
    December 10, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Thank you for working on this issue! It’s mind boggling to me why we are cutting down any old growth anywhere in this province. Is there not enough 2nd/3rd growth that can be managed and farmed to support the industry and the people who depend on it? This is ludicrous. We are having the same issue up here in PG. Although the rainforest up hear isn’t talked about as much or as well known and we just don’t have the same size of activism community to advocate…. Here’s a link to the Northern Wetbelt Working Group’s letter. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/16hq-R8ZOylR-wLSz9OjbxRdf4NYHYnG9Uo1Lu12qr0U/viewform

    (which you are CCed on so will receive it too).

    We’d love your support on this too.

    Warmly,

    Jenn