April 12, 2013
Contact: Mat Wright
250-477-1936

BC Green Party Forest Action Plan

12 April 2013
Media Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Victoria, BC - Today Jane Sterk, leader, and Andrew Weaver, deputy leader, of the Green Party of BC announced a detailed plan for reform of the forestry sector.

“Given the scarcity of remaining productive old growth in much of our province, it is clear that we need to head in a new, science-based direction to manage our forests,” said Jane Sterk. “Between Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, and the Southern Interior, only 3-25% of old growth remains. We need a new plan now to ensure the long term health and biodiversity of our forests,” noted Dr. Andrew Weaver.

The party is calling for the following key actions and reforms to be taken with respect to forestry management, and would work across party lines to enact this plan if elected in May to:

  1. Conduct a provincial inventory on remaining old growth forests
  2. Conduct a science-based risk assessment for biodiversity, concentrated on different old growth retention levels
  3. Create an incentive to retool lumber mills from handling old growth to handling second growth
  4. Increase the log export tax (fee in lieu of manufacturing) to encourage value added economic development
  5. Partition the Annual Allowable Cut (AAC) to reflect rates that differentiate between second growth forest and old growth forest
  6. Modify the stumpage fee rate to link it to the degree of value added manufacturing in British Columbia.
  7. Enact emergency protections immediately in the most endangered old-growth forest ecosystems, such as the Coastal Douglas Fir zone on eastern Vancouver Island where only 1% of the original old-growth forests remain
  8. Phase out old growth forest logging at a rate faster than the depletion rate, with the timelines to be established after the science based risk assessment is complete
  9. Establish an old growth reserve to allow the recruitment of second growth forest to become old growth
  10. Ensure that old growth management areas reflect the need to preserve high productivity as well as low productivity old growth forests.

The goal of these reforms is to develop a science based approach for the protection of old growth forests and ecosystem biodiversity. By retooling our British Columbia mills, we will be able to process second growth logs here in British Columbia. This will eliminate the need to export raw logs abroad thereby keeping jobs in communities around BC.

“Adrian Dix committed to implementing a provincial plan for old growth but hasn’t provided any details on how the NDP would accomplish this,” said party leader Jane Sterk. “We have a plan and would be happy to work with the NDP on implementing it in a way that not only protects endangered old growth, but puts science at the centre of our forestry management plans, ensuring we protect biodiversity and provide jobs well into the future.”

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FACT SHEET FOLLOWS

Media Contact
Mat Wright
Press Secretary
Campaign to Elect Andrew Weaver
Green Party of BC

250-686-5945 or mat@voteweaver.ca

 

By The Numbers: Forestry in BC Fact Sheet

BC has a long history of losing jobs and old growth. It is time for change. 

1. The percentage of original old-growth Coastal Douglas fir zone that remains.
Source: Comparison maps of old-growth forest cover on Vancouver Island, Ancient Forest Alliance. Accessed April 2013. 

7,345. The number of forestry jobs lost between 1986 and 2001, amounting to more than 25% of BC forestry jobs.
Source: Regional Economic Analysis: Vancouver Island/Coast Economic Region. Van Struth Consulting Group, 2003 

12. The percentage of additional forestry jobs lost between 2001 and 2006.
Source: Regional Economic Analysis, Vancouver Island and Central/Sunshine Coasts. Van Struth Consulting Group, 2009 

13. The percentage of original, productive old-growth forest that remains on southern Vancouver Island, south of Barkley Sound/Alberni Canal.
Source: Comparison maps of old-growth forest cover on Vancouver Island, Ancient Forest Alliance. Accessed April 2013. 

24. The percentage increase in coastal second growth harvest from 1995 to 2007.
Source: Regional Economic Analysis, Vancouver Island and Central/Sunshine Coasts. Van Struth Consulting Group, 2009 

3 million. The estimated number of tons of carbon dioxide released from old growth logging on Vancouver Island and the South Coast each year. The equivalent of B.C.’s emissions reductions achieved over 3 years, between 2007 and 2010.
Source: Carbon At Risk. BC’s Unprotected Old Growth Rainforest. Jens Wieting, Sierra Club of BC, 2013 

400. The minimum number of species of plants and animals in British Columbia that rely on old-growth forests for at least part of their life cycle.
Source: Conserving Old Growth Forests in BC: Implementation of old-growth retention objectives under FRPA Special Investigation, Forest Practices Board, 2012 

90. The percentage of low elevation, flat, ancient forests—containing the largest trees and most biodiversity—that have been logged.
Source: Comparison maps of old-growth forest cover on Vancouver Island, Ancient Forest Alliance. Accessed April 2013. 

13 years. The equivalent amount of carbon dioxide stored in Vancouver Island and South Coast old-growth forests, measured in terms of B.C.’s annual emissions targets.
Source: Carbon At Risk. BC’s Unprotected Old Growth Rainforest. Jens Wieting, Sierra Club of BC, 2013

 

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