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21st October 2019
EDITOR
BC Timber Sales' logging in Nahmint Valley Failing to Meet BC's Inadequate Old-Growth Protection Standards

Last week, we revealed that BC Timber Sales, the BC government's own logging agency, is failing to comply with the Province's already inadequate old-growth protection standards for the Nahmint Valley, where some of Earth's grandest forests and near-record-sized trees are being logged.

According to documents obtained by the AFA through a Freedom of Information request, a 2018 Ministry of Forests investigation showed that BCTS failed to ensure all old-growth forest ecosystem types are represented across the valley, neglected to use best available science and data in their planning, and misinterpreted specific targets for old-growth forest protection.

As a result, too much old-growth has been logged in the Nahmint - even by the BC government's standards - and not enough of it has been retained to avoid loss of biodiversity.

What's more, since this investigation, the Ministry has failed to act on their own Compliance and Enforcement Branch's recommendations to halt current and future logging in the Nahmint Valley and, according to a former ministry insider, directed the branch to stop investigating BC Timber Sales altogether.

Instead of taking responsibility for BCTS' mismanagement of endangered ancient forests, Forests Minister Doug Donaldson is turning a blind eye, waiting for another investigation to be completed before deciding whether to take action, and allowing over 600 hectares of old-growth forest to be auctioned off in the Nahmint in coming years under the current, non-compliant Forest Stewardship Plan.

But don't take our word for it. Watch Minister Donaldson's extremely disappointing response to Green Party MLA Adam Olsen's question about the Nahmint Valley in the legislature last week.

Apparently, the BC government is placing the needs of the timber industry so far ahead of other forest values like biodiversity, recreation, salmon habitat and cultural heritage that they are willing to break their own rules.

Logging in the Nahmint Valley and other old-growth "hotspots" must immediately be put on hold, but itís not enough to ensure future logging complies with BCís outdated and grossly inadequate laws.

The BC government needs to use its control over BCTS to quickly phase out issuance of old-growth timber sales altogether, legislate an ecosystem-based management approach to forestry throughout BC (as promised in the NDPís 2017 election platform), and set new, science-based targets for old-growth forest protection.

Please take a moment to SPEAK UP to Forests Minister Doug Donaldson, Premier John Horgan, and Environment Minister George Heyman.

TAKE ACTION!

TWEET: DonaldsonDoug JJHorgan GeorgeHeyman
EMAIL: Doug Donaldson at FLNR.Ministergov.bc.ca
CALL: Doug Donaldson's office at 250-387-6240
SEND A MESSAGE: www.AncientForestAlliance.org/send-a-message

Tell them BC's endangered ancient forests need action, not apathy. Ask them to take immediate steps to halt logging in old-growth hotspots, implement a science-based old-growth protection plan, support Indigenous Protected Areas, and ensure a sustainable, second-growth forest industry.

For the forests,

TJ Watt, Andrea Inness, Joan Varley, Rachel Ablack, Tiara Dhenin, Amanda Evans, Dani Bell, and Jacob Swain
Ancient Forest Alliance