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LETTER: Old-growth critical to our survival

I am very pleased to see that the forest defenders at Fairy Creek have decided to stay despite having received a dismissal letter.

Anyone can see the game of divide and conquer that is being played here. Anyone can see that the Pacheedaht have an economic gun to their heads.

The people of B.C., especially on Vancouver Island, are coming to understand that the old-growth forests are a critical part of our survival and that the world needs us to save what we have.

Here is a paragraph from an article by Greenpeace that talks about forests and climate change:

“Climate change poses a huge threat to all of humanity, and one of our best defences against it are old-growth forests. Ancient trees are great at sequestering carbon. In fact, the rate of carbon accumulation in trees increases continuously as they grow in size. However, when they are cut that carbon is released into the atmosphere. Old-growth ecosystems are also vitality important for maintaining biodiversity. Certain species, like Canada’s critically endangered northern spotted owl, will only nest in old-growth forests. These forests also prevent flooding and provide excellent filtration and protection for the watersheds that Canadians rely on. In terms of mitigating the threat of wildfires, old-growth is much better at keeping them at bay than younger trees are. Considering all the important ways giant trees benefit us, it is obvious that an immediate moratorium on old-growth logging is essential to protecting us from the worst effects of climate change.”

This is a historic moment. The provincial government has a very limited time to redeem itself by solving this problem. The solution likely lies in helping the Pacheedaht establish another revenue stream. The logging permits in the Fairy Creek watershed need to be cancelled. The Rainforest Flying Squad has my support. I see them as the heroes of this story.

Bev Bacon

Metchosin