Demand a Moratorium on Logging Practices in the CRDRead the petition
Did you know that approximately one half of the land-base in the Capital Region is held as "privately managed forest land" or provincial "tree farm licenses"?!
What’s the problem and why you should care
In the midst of a climate emergency declared by the CRD board of directors and a growing consensus nationwide that climate change must be a foremost priority, logging companies such as Mosaic (formerly "Timberwest" and "Island Timberlands") continue their destructive and unsustainable practices in a vast wilderness that borders our region"s water supply areas, residential areas and protected parklands. This massive forest is an important wildlife habitat and absolutely essential for our region’s carbon sequestration efforts.
Scrawny trees are being harvested well before they have reached maturity and unwanted tree species are heaped into slash piles for burning. With massive wildfires exploding in size and severity over the past few years, we cannot risk losing even more of the region"s forested land in this way, with the very real threat of contamination to our water supply and the health and safety of us all.
The current economic reality versus potential opportunities
Given the "poor market conditions" for the quality of the lumber in this forest, and Mosaic"s recent decision to cease operations for the time being, now is the moment to demand the shift necessary to be true climate leaders and finally offer some form of protection to this vital forested area that has provided us with so much already.
With less than 300 people now employed in the logging industry in our region, moving forward, we can certainly provide many more jobs in silviculture, scientific study, conservation, non-timber resources and outdoor recreation to name only a few options. There are far more labour and economic opportunities focused on restoring and caring for the forest than destroying it.
Collaboration and a just transition moving forward
Instead of a tree farm, let us all collaborate as a community to manage this forest in a more sensible manner, such as working towards a Tribal Park designation (Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area). CRD Parks could have a role in Indigenous-led co-management if that is the consensus that is reached. Local First Nations must have free, prior and informed consent on land use decisions that impact their territories, included as equal partners in every step of the transition and honoured as the original caretakers of the land. In the meantime, we need to pause the destruction in this forest to create some space and time to re-learn what is best for all involved and to act on the best available science and traditional ecological knowledge.
We are calling on local and provincial government to impose an immediate moratorium on widespread industrial logging within the region, with the aim of transitioning these lands out of tree plantation models and transforming this forest into the basis for a sustainable new local forest economy employing thousands, while creating space for a critical wildlife refuge and ensuring a thriving ecosystem to pass on to future generations.