(Photos by TJ Watt)

On May 3rd, a motion was presented to parliament for increased funding to protect BC’s old-growth forests at risk of being logged. 

Liberal Member of Parliament, Patrick Weiler, is trying to secure $82 million for the BC Old-Growth Protection Fund. The motion is contingent on whether or not BC will match this funding which would bring the old-growth fund to a total of $164 million. 

This money would be used specifically to end the international export of old-growth raw logs and protect old-growth groves which reside on federal lands.

The Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA) and the Endangered Ecosystems Alliance (EEA) applaud this motion being brought to parliament and are hopeful that the rest of Canada’s MPs will support this move to end the centuries old ‘war in the woods’.

“We welcome this motion by MP Patrick Weiler,” said TJ Watt, Ancient Forest Alliance campaigner and photographer. “$82 million dedicated to old-growth protection in BC, when matched by the province for a total of $164 million, is no small sum.” 

“It would result in a major leap forward to protect old-growth forests here, along with a much larger federal-provincial BC Nature Agreement fund — as would a rapid phase-out on the export of old-growth wood products across Canada with an emphasis on second- and third-growth wood products instead.”

Watt says that Biden’s administration in the US is paving the way to protecting old-growth groves to the south and BC and Canada could learn a thing or two from his efforts. 

The AFA accuses Premier David Eby of not doing enough and they go so far as to say his government of “extending the life of the destructive status quo of old-growth liquidation”.

BC has committed to protecting 30% of the country’s land by 2030 and currently only 15% of this old-growth land is under protection. 

The AFA says old-growth forests are vital to support our climate’s stabilization, endangered species lives, wild salmon populations, clean water, tourism, recreation and many diverse First Nations’ cultures.

Because these regions are re-logged every 50 to 60 years on BC’s coast and every 80 to 100 years in the Interior, they never have the opportunity to become old-growth again. 

The result of this continuous cycle of re-logging is an unsustainable practice that the AFA would like to see brough to an end.

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