Metchosin supports stopping old-growth logging

Rural community makes resolution aimed at stopping falling of old growth trees on Island

While it’s not quite a New Years resolution, Metchosin resolved to prevent any more logging of old-growth forest on provincial Crown Land on Vancouver Island.

The resolution will see a letter go to the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities, seeking its support for a request to amend the Vancouver Island Land Use Plan to protect all remaining old-growth forest.

“The amount of old growth remaining on southern Vancouver Island is a small fraction of what it used to be, and old growth has all sorts of value – economic, social and environmental value,” said Metchosin Coun. Andy MacKinnon. “We thought it was timely to create a resolution to save the remaining old growth for ourselves and future generations.”

The longtime forester and biologist said such trees at Avatar Grove, and Big Lonely Doug – left standing in the middle of a clearcut, it’s considered the second-largest Douglas fir tree in Canada – attract visitors to the area. He pointed to an estimate showing that only 13 per cent of old-growth forest on southern Vancouver Island remain.

“These are some of the largest trees on the planet, some of the largest living organisms that have ever existed on earth,” MacKinnon said. “And some people visit to view these stands, so there is an important economic resource even if you don’t log them.”

The Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities is one of six regional groups under the umbrella of the Union of B.C. Municipalities. It deals with issues and concerns of the 51 municipalities and districts it represents on the Island.

MacKinnon said it’s inevitable that the logging of old-growth forests will stop.

“This will happen when all the old-growth forest outside of protected areas has been logged and the logging will transition to second growth,” he said. “The halt to logging old growth will happen sooner rather than later; this resolution calls for an immediate halt.”

alim@goldstreamgazette.com

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