Last winter, the Government of B.C. acknowledged its approach to old growth forests is broken, ordering a comprehensive Old Growth Review. On Friday, September 11th, the government of B.C. released the Old Growth Review report and announced that for the next two years logging would be deferred for almost 353,000 hectares provincially, including more than 260,000 hectares in Clayoquot Sound.
“For the first time in history, the B.C. Government announced the deferral of logging in Clayoquot Sound for the next two years, which is great and long overdue,” said Michael Mullin, Friends of Clayoquot Sound Co-Founder and current Board Member. “Since the inception of Friends of Clayoquot Sound in 1979, we have utilized a diversity of tactics from multistakeholder boardroom discussions to frontline direct action to protect the ancient rainforests of Clayoquot Sound.”
Friends of Clayoquot Sound are currently active with the Clayoquot Sound Conservation Alliance (CSCA) to support discussions with regional First Nations about protecting the ancient rainforests through securing conservation investment. However, many systemic issues remain as the B.C. Government’s outdated forestry system has required the First Nations’ owned forestry company, MaMook, to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual fees for Tree Farm Licenses to the B.C. Government for the ‘rights to log’.
“For First Nations in Clayoquot Sound to retain the ‘rights to log’, their company MaMook has to log their unceded territories to pay for the Tree Farm Licenses annual dues required by the B.C. Government and guard against an outside corporation buying up the ‘rights to log’ from the B.C. Government,” explains Jeh Custerra, Friends of Clayoquot Sound Campaigner. “This unsustainable approach to forestry is a destructive systemic failure that must be reconciled by the B.C. Government during this logging deferral period by supporting the visions of First Nations for permanent rainforest protection of their unceded territories.”