CPAWS-BC welcomes forest policy changes, hopeful conservation and ecosystem health will be prioritized
Aerial view over Dene K’éh Kusān, photographed by Adam Combs
Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Traditional unceded Coast Salish Territory / Vancouver, BC – The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – British Columbia (CPAWS-BC) is welcoming new measures announced to protect old growth forests and expedite conservation across BC. New forest policy changes announced by Premier David Eby and Minister of Forests Bruce Ralston signal hope that forest management in BC will prioritize ecosystem health, biodiversity and Indigenous values.
“BC has made ambitious commitments to protect biodiversity and shift the way that resources are managed in the province, and today’s announcement gives the conservation community a welcomed signal that Premier Eby’s government will follow through,” said Tori Ball, Terrestrial Conservation Manager for CPAWS-BC.
The announcement includes several key measures and reaffirms commitments that will advance forest conservation, including:
- Removing problematic wording in the Forest and Range Practices Act which hampered wildlife and habitat protections by requiring them to go forward “without unduly reducing the supply of timber from British Columbia’s forests”;
- $25M for new Forest Landscape Planning (FLP) to support eight regional tables that will include local knowledge and community priorities, including approximately 50 First Nations, to guide forest management on the ground;
- Creating a new conservation financing mechanism to leverage philanthropic funding to support the protection of lands, waters and biodiversity;
- Implementing the Old Growth Strategic Review and the creation of a parallel action plan, in collaboration with First Nations.
“Forest ecosystems in BC have long been prioritized solely for their timber value over the cultural, ecological and carbon values that they hold,” continued Ball. “Our ancient forests host irreplaceable ecosystems and spiritual significance, and immediate action is needed to expedite their protection before they are lost forever.”
In December 2022, Premier Eby announced BC’s commitment to protect 30% of lands by 2030, including Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs). These announcements show a commitment to protecting nature across BC while bolstering Indigenous rights to land and culture, and accelerating action on climate change.
“Biodiversity is the backbone that our communities, economies and climate rely upon,” said Ball. “While we welcome these signals, there is still work to be done to make sure these policies create meaningful action to prioritize ecosystem health on lands and waters across BC.”
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For interviews, contact:
Tori Ball, Terrestrial Conservation Manager, CPAWS-BC
email@example.com | 604-685-7445 x24
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – British Columbia (CPAWS-BC) is part of one of Canada’s oldest non-profit conservation groups. We protect wilderness in every corner of BC and deep into the ocean. We have been defending BC since 1978, and are dedicated to keeping BC’s natural environment thriving forever. Our work to safeguard large parks, protected areas and wildlife corridors has been instrumental in protecting precious places across the province.