The Sierra Club of BC said the provinces pledge to protect 54 old-growth trees is a baby step but much more needs to be done if the province wants to make a real impact.
Earlier this week the province pledged to protect 54 groves with iconic old-growth trees from the University of British Columbia’s Big Tree Registry.
The news release said this is the first step in a new approach to old-growth management.
Mark Worthing, a Climate and Conservation Campaigner at Sierra Club BC said it’s a symbolic step to addressing the bigger issue.
“We need to be managing entire valleys, entire land bases, entire territories to get closer to 30 per cent or more of the various ecosystem styles intact, so we need to stop fragmenting old-growth forests.”
So far on the list, there are two Interior (Rocky Mountain) Douglas-firs in Fraser Fort George with 14 Sitka spruce and one Western red cedar in Skeena-Queen Charlotte area being protected.
He added old-growth forests play an essential role in helping ecosystems adapt to climate change.
“Some of the biggest most important features are that they are some of the most climate resistant ecosystems we have left, they filter water, sequester carbon, they literally cool the forest floor not to mention providing vast sums of habitats.”
Gary Merkel, a forester and natural resource expert, and Al Gorley, a professional forester, will hear different perspectives on old-growth trees and forests over the next year. They will then report back to the government in the spring of 2020 with recommendations to develop a new approach to old-growth management.