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11th June 2020

Shocking new research shows state of old-growth forests is worse than we feared

The very first independent, comprehensive analysis on the state of BC's old-growth forests has just been released and the results are dire: BC's productive old-growth forests have been logged to their ecological limits and are now critically endangered.

The report, entitled BC's Old Growth Forest: A Last Stand for Biodiversity, was prepared by a team of independent scientists for the BC government's Old Growth Strategic Review panel in order to counter the Province's grossly misleading statistics on the state of BC's old-growth.

Like the Liberal government before them, the BC NDP dramatically over-inflates the amount of remaining old-growth by lumping low productivity forests with smaller, stunted trees in bogs and sub-alpine areas in with productive old-growth forests, where large trees grow and where most logging takes place.

The researchers' analyses show that only a tiny fraction of original, high productivity old-growth forests are remaining, only a minuscule amount of them are protected, and many ancient forest ecosystems across BC are at high risk of disappearing forever unless the NDP government takes immediate steps to protect them.
Read more in the AFA's press release and scroll down to take action!

Here are some of the researchers' key findings:

1. The BC government maintains there are 13.2 million hectares of old-growth in BC, but fails to acknowledge that that only 400,000 ha (or 3%) of those old forests are capable of growing big trees.

2. Highly productive forests with the potential to grow very large trees (like the ones we feature in our photos) cover less than 3% of the province. 97.3% of this 3% has been logged and only 2.7% remains as old-growth.

3. Over 75% of the fraction of remaining high productivity old-growth is slated for logging.

4. The province's old-growth protection levels are grossly inadequate, placing most higher productivity forest ecosystems across BC at "high risk" of losing ecological function, biodiversity, and resilience.

Recent news coverage of the report:
• The Narwhal: B.C. old-growth data ‘misleading’ public on remaining ancient forest: independent report

• Vancouver Sun: Scientists conclude B.C.'s count of old-growth forest greatly overestimated

• CBC News: B.C. vastly overestimates size of its old-growth forest, independent researchers say
• Victoria News: Big old trees almost gone forever in B.C., scientists warn

• CKPG Today (with TV news piece): Old growth forests logged to ecological limits:

The report's authors, the AFA, and conservationists across BC are calling on the BC government to:

1) Place an immediate halt on logging in:
• All endangered forest types;
• All high productivity old and mature forests;
• Landscape units (i.e. clusters of watersheds) at "high risk" of losing ecological integrity;
• Very old, irreplaceable forests; and
• Intact old-growth ‘hotspots’ like Vancouver Island's Central Walbran Valley.

2) Ensure their proposed Old Growth Strategy:
• Sets legislated, science-based old-growth protection targets for endangered old-growth across the province; and
• Supports First Nations land-use plans, protected areas, and sustainable economic development tied to old-growth protection.

Please join us & speak up for ancient forests!

1) Call or email your MLA

2) Send a message to decision makers

3) Comment on Forest Minister Doug Donaldson's Facebook page

4) Tweet and tag him on Twitter

5) Send him a personalized email