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BC gov old-growth definition ‘scientifically unclear’: CIF-IFC, APB


November 24, 2021
By Canadian Institute of Forestry, Association of Professional Biology

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Photo by John Deal.

The Government of British Columbia (B.C.) recently announced the deferral of logging activity within 2.6 million hectares of B.C.’s old-growth forests. The Canadian Institute of Forestry/Institut forestier du Canada (CIF-IFC) and the Association of Professional Biology (APB) believe that old-growth forests are highly significant and require unique management and conservation to ensure their values are maintained in B.C. and throughout Canada.

Through their announcement, the B.C. government has committed to develop a new approach to old-growth management that includes harvesting deferrals and further consultation. The announcement of the deferrals and the unknown future of the management strategies has caused significant concern in forestry-based communities across the province.

In the information shared publicly to date, there are aspects of the definition of old-growth that are scientifically unclear. The CIF-IFC and APB believe the key to a successful strategy is one that supports all views and incorporates the best science and knowledge available, and encourage the B.C. government to have fulsome discussions and consultations with all stakeholders, including Indigenous communities.

The CIF-IFC and APB hope this process also takes into consideration the plans and processes already existing on the landscape which account for old-growth objectives. Forests not only provide critical ecological functions, but they also provide many social and cultural benefits, and create economic opportunities for British Columbians from all walks of life.

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The CIF-IFC and APB represent forest and biology practitioners across the country, many who face the challenge of properly managing old-growth forests. Both organizations look forward to their members participating in this discussion in the future.

With the tragic events currently happening in the province of B.C., the CIF-IFC and APB send their thoughts and support to the many communities, families, and individuals affected by the flooding and mudslides. Thank you to all first responders working tirelessly to keep British Columbians safe.