New report on the disappearance of British Columbia’s old growth forests

Aerial view of a stream stretching and winding through old growth green forest nestled under blue black mountains and a stormy sky

A new report titled, B.C.’s Old Growth Forest: A Last Stand for Biodiversity found that the majority of British Columbia’s productive old-growth forests are gone, and the majority of the old growth remaining is slated to be logged.

The report’s findings shed new light on the province’s claims that BC is still home to significant amounts of old growth, despite intensive logging.

The BC government reports that 23 per cent of the forest in the province is old growth or 13.2 million hectares.

The study concludes there are only about 3% BC’s remaining old forest that supports large trees. – the rest are small subalpine or bog forests.

The report warns that, in addition to the issue of overestimating old growth forest, many of the large stands of trees that would be considered old growth are unprotected — as much as 75 per cent.

The report calls on the government to update forest management strategy for the current mix of forests, and to place a moratorium on old-growth logging in any area with less than 10 per cent old-growth remaining.

We don’t get a second chance at maintaining these, and there is really such a tiny proportion that remains.

Rachel Holt, co-author of the Raincoast report B.C.’s Old Growth Forest: A Last Stand for Biodiversity

Read the full report.

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