Stand.earth supports Squamish Nation’s call for an immediate moratorium on all old growth logging

Thursday June 10, 2021

The B.C. government has yet to fulfill its promise and implement deferrals that protect all 1.3 hectares of at-risk old growth

səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Territories (Vancouver, BC) —  Stand.earth fully supports and upholds the Squamish Nation’s sovereignty as they call on the B.C. government to immediately defer old growth logging for the next two years. 

In an official statement released today, the Squamish Nation put the province on notice. 

“These forests belong to the Squamish People and were never ceded,” reads the statement. “While 44 per cent of the Squamish Nation territory’s old-growth has been protected, 56 per cent remains unprotected. The Nation does not give its consent for continued old-growth logging within its territory.

Yesterday’s announcement from the Horgan government revealed that it will honour deferral requests from Pacheedaht, Ditidaht and Huu-ay-aht First Nations, but it only addresses a fraction of B.C.’s old growth issue. So far, the government has only agreed to defer logging at the Fairy Creek watershed and the central Walbran area, consisting of 2 000 hectares of old growth forests. This leaves contiguous old growth in Fairy Creek still at risk.  In addition, a group of independent scientists identified a total of 1.3 million hectares of at-risk old growth province-wide in urgent need of protection if the government is going to implement the Expert Panel On Old Growth recommendations. This is why constituents continue to protest outside MLA offices in order to ramp up pressure and protect all of BC’s last remaining giants.

On April 30, 2020 an independent old growth review panel submitted their report and recommendations to the provincial government, which included specific timelines for immediate steps like full Indigenous involvement and reducing threats to at-risk forests. 

The panel called for immediate logging deferrals in remaining productive old growth forests, but despite giving the province a six-month timeline to put deferrals in place, about 75 per cent of remaining productive old growth forests in BC remain open to logging. These old growth forests are now found on less than one per cent of the forested landbase in BC.

“The government has committed to respect First Nations leadership on protecting old growth and implement the Old Growth panel recommendations. That’s exciting.” said Tzeporah Berman, International Program Director, Stand.Earth. “The announcement by the Squamish Nation today gives clear direction to the Provincial Government on stopping the chainsaws in critical areas of Squamish territory.  If the government wants to avoid more conflicts like Fairy Creek across the province they need to act quickly to defer old logging province wide starting with a commitment today to respect the Squamish Nation.” 

Stand.earth and its supporters are calling on the B.C. government to fulfill its promise and implement immediate deferrals for all 1.3 million hectares of at-risk old growth.

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Media contact: 

Ziona Eyob, Canadian Communications Manager, canmedia@stand.earth, +1 604 757 7279 (Pacific Time)