Tell your MLA: We need an immediate old growth logging ban

The following is a step-by-step guide to help you organize a meeting with your local MLA on behalf of these irreplaceable forests in B.C. We hope this information will be helpful to you. 

 

Stand.earth is made up of tens of thousands of people across British Columbia. It was created to challenge corporations and governments to treat people and the environment with respect, because our lives depend on it. Over the years, our work and our approach has evolved from a dedicated focus on forest protection to taking on some of the root causes of climate change and environmental injustice.

 

Together, we need to put public pressure on MLAs across the province to immediately ban logging in at-risk old growth forests. Every representative needs to know that this is a key issue for constituents living in B.C. In regards to NDP and Green MLAs, we’re asking supporters like you to hold them accountable to their old growth promise, made in October 2020. 

  • Click here to commit to having a meeting and we'll be in touch with you to get organized.
  • Download this toolkit as a PDF.

What does immediate old growth protection look like?

  1. a meaningful commitment to implementing all 14 recommendations from the old growth review panel; 
  2. immediate logging bans in the most at-risk old growth forests (these could almost happen overnight as the Ministry of Forests has all the information they need to do so); 
  3. ensure that the B.C. government is equipped to work with, and support, Indigenous Nations on long-term protection plans.

You can help pressure the B.C. government by meeting with your local MLA via Zoom. This guide will show you just how easy it is to be a champion for old growth by communicating with them directly.

Don’t use Zoom? You can follow the same steps but just request to meet over the phone instead.

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Here are the steps: 

 

Step 1: Look up your MLAs information

You can find this information here: https://www.leg.bc.ca/learn-about-us/members 

 

Step 2: Email your MLA to set up a meeting over Zoom (or the phone!)

You can choose to attend the zoom meeting alone; organize with people in your riding to join the meeting; or invite friends and family members.

  • Plan the date and time you will be asking for a meeting 
  • Email your MLA to ask for a meeting. 
  • Confirm a time and date for your meeting with your MLA

Note: Not hearing back from your MLA? Try a phone call, re-sending the email, tagging them on social media and highlighting that you are a constituent!

 

Step 3: Creating a Zoom link for the online meeting 

  • Go to www.zoom.us (a website that allows us to have a teleconference call - video and sound) 
  • Zoom is a free video-calling service. If you need help using zoom, there are video tutorials here.   

 

Step 4: Prepare for your call

Once you’ve heard back about a date and time that your MLA can meet, it’s time to prepare for your call.

 

Review your key talking points: 

  • The new NDP majority government campaigned on an election promise to implement all 14 of the old growth review panel recommendations, which was received in April.
  • One of those recommendations was to ban logging in at-risk old growth forests within 6 months. These deferrals are overdue they should have been implemented by the end of October at the latest. While the government delays, irreplaceable old growth forests are being logged and permanently lost. 
  • Productive old growth forests – where big, old trees are found – now make up less than 1% of forests in BC. Despite their rarity and importance, 75% of these old growth forests are unprotected and open to logging. That is why I’m asking you to hold this government to its promise and immediately implement logging bans.
  • Public support for protecting old growth is evident: 55,000+ people have signed a petition to end logging in at-risk old growth forests across B.C, and thousands more have sent emails, made phone calls, and reached out on social media. More broadly, Sierra Club’s recent polling indicates that over 90% of people living in British Columbia support action to protect endangered old growth forests. 
  • This immediate action for old growth is dire. But it shouldn’t end there. I urge you to ensure that the B.C. government is equipped to work with, and support, Indigenous Nations on long-term protection plans.
  • Note: We encourage you to include your community’s perspective. Personalized messages are very effective and your MLA will be concerned with the local context, which they can then bring to the table provincially.
  • Note: If your MLA says the government deferred logging in 353,000 hectares in September, remind them that only 3,800 hectares of those areas was actually at-risk old-growth, which means 99% of remaining, productive old growth forests were excluded from this announcement.

In case you are interested, here is some additional background information: 

Score card graphic on old growth protection re: where major parties in B.C. stand

 

Find out which party your MLA is with so you can tailor your conversation accordingly:

 

 Green 

  • Delivered a thorough plan for sustainable forestry management across B.C. including immediate protection of old growth
  • Committed to implementing all 14 recommendations from the old growth review panel

NDP

  • Committed to implementing all 14 recommendations from the old growth review panel
  • Now holds a majority government, but still has no plan in place to ban old growth logging

Liberal

  • Has not made any commitments specific to old growth

 

Step 5: Your meeting

We’ve drafted an outline to host and share a meeting with your MLA, but feel free to add in your own personal touch.

 

During your meeting
  1. Introduce every person, making it clear that you are a constituent and name any groups you are a part of in the community. You can say that you are a part of Stand.earth, an environmental organization representing tens of thousands of constituents across the province. 
  2. Be clear about your demands; 
  3. Use social media to broadcast your meeting, take photos, tag the candidates and use the hashtag #bcpoli and #OldGrowth. You can also tag @standearth on Twitter and Facebook, or @stand.earth on Instagram and we will share your post! 
  4. Take notes.
What/when
Join zoom 10 minutes before start time.
Script

- “Hi everyone! Welcome! Can everyone test their mic (mute, un-mute) and turn their video on.

- During the meeting, please keep yourself muted to minimize background noise, unless it's your turn to speak.

- I would like to start with a round of introductions. Please introduce yourself, any organization you are a part of, your pronouns if you're comfortable, and why you care about protecting old growth forests in B.C.

 

Make your demands

We would like to speak with you about our specific requests to immediately ban logging in at-risk old growth forests across B.C.

 

We want to review our key concerns:

  1. The new NDP majority government campaigned on an election promise to implement all 14 of the old growth review panel recommendations, which was received in April.
  2. One of those recommendations was to ban logging in at-risk old growth forests within 6 months. These deferrals are overdue they should have been implemented by the end of October at the latest. While the government delays, irreplaceable old growth forests are being logged and permanently lost. 
  3. Productive old growth forests – where big, old trees are found – now make up less than 1% of forests in BC. Despite their rarity and importance, 75% of these old growth forests are unprotected and open to logging. That is why I’m asking you to hold this government to its promise and immediately implement logging bans.
  4. Public support for protecting old growth is evident: 55,000+ people have signed a petition to end logging in at-risk old growth forests across B.C, and thousands more have sent emails, made phone calls, and reached out on social media. More broadly, Sierra Club’s recent polling indicates that over 90% of people living in British Columbia support action to protect endangered old growth forests. 
  5. This immediate action for old growth is dire. But it shouldn’t end there. I urge you to ensure that the B.C. government is equipped to work with, and support, Indigenous Nations on long-term protection plans.
  6. Note: We encourage you to include your community’s perspective. Personalized messages are very effective and your MLA will be concerned with the local context, which they can then bring to the table provincially.
  7. Note: If your MLA says the government deferred logging in 353,000 hectares in September, remind them that only 3,800 hectares of those areas was actually at-risk old-growth, which means 99% of remaining, productive old growth forests were excluded from this announcement.
Wrap up with your 'ask'

To ensure that you walk away with a tangible commitment from your MLA, you can directly ask them to raise this issue within their party. And then you should plan to schedule a time to follow-up and ask how that engagement went, and to have another meeting to discuss it, as well as the next steps.

Group photo

Take a screenshot of your Zoom call. Not sure how to do this? Ask someone in the meeting with you. On a MAC you can take a screenshot by using Command, Shift, 3.

 

Important Note: Make sure to let people know you are taking a photo that will be used on social media, so that anyone who doesn’t want to be in the photo can turn their camera off and so the MLA is aware a photo is being taken.

 

Thanks and Goodbye!

Thank you so much [MLA name] for your time and for committing to [insert commitment if they made one]. 

Thank you!

 

After your meeting

After the MLA leaves the zoom, you can stay on with other participants for a 5 min debrief. 

  • What went well?
  • What didn’t go well?
  • What do you want to do next?

 

Step 6: Send a report 

Thank you for being a champion for old growth. You can send a report of your meeting to tegan@stand.earth