On Thursday, Sept. 28, local conservation group Wildsight will host four events in Golden, Revelstoke, Radium and Nelson as part of a province-wide day of action. In Revelstoke, demonstrators will meet in Grizzly Plaza at 12.30pm
The rallies mark the end of the three-year period during which the BC government promised to implement the 14 recommendations that came out of the Old Growth Strategic Review.
“None of those recommendations have yet been fully implemented and more than half of the old growth identified for protection in the review is still in danger of being clear cut — including stands in the Kootenays and Columbia,” says Eddie Petryshen, Conservation Specialist for Wildsight.
The Kootenays and Columbia contain some of the last partially-intact inland rainforest left in the world, with trees up to 2000 years old and four metres in diameter. Known as the Inland Temperate Rainforest, these old growth stands are home to mountain caribou, grizzly bears, wolverines and many other threatened animals, plants and fungi. They also play an important role in carbon storage and sequestration, wildfire prevention and water storage and filtration.
“The Inland Temperate Rainforest is still being logged, and if that trend continues, we will see this ecosystem collapse. We’ve already lost seven mountain caribou herds since 2014 in the Kootenay region, and the area north of Revelstoke is their last stronghold,” he says. “We can’t just keep logging until there’s no intact old growth left.”
With the events happening less than a week before the BC Legislature returns to session in early October, demonstrators hope to send MLAs back to parliament with a clear message that more must be done to protect old growth forests.
For more information, visit wildsight.ca/unitedforoldgrowth.