Forest Eye: An Eye on Old Growth Destruction
The B.C. government’s landmark Old Growth Strategic Review, “A New Future for Old Forests”, finalized in April 2020, marked an important shift in the concept of old growth management. The report highlighted the strong agreement that forest management – and particularly for old growth – needed a paradigm shift away from a timber-centric model, toward prioritizing ecological and community values.1 In that spirit, the review recommended that old growth forests be deferred (or temporarily protected) from logging while this shift occurred. The deferrals process, as it has come to be known, is therefore an exercise in restraint for industry. Consequently, a map of the old growth recommended for deferral by the B.C. government’s own Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) was released on November 2, 2021. The areas indicated therein are referred to as candidate priority deferral areas, and they represent the most rare and at-risk old growth forests left in the province. When the maps were released, the province indicated its intention to pursue deferrals and asked companies (in good faith) to avoid logging them. When he was appointed Premier in November, 2022, David Eby made a pledge to “accelerate action on old growth.” However, the first 6 months of data from our Forest Eye satellite monitoring and alert system indicate that logging in candidate deferral areas has continued under his leadership and that rather than showing restraint, industry has continued to log deferrals that they have access to.
Read our press release here.