Letter: Calling logging ‘sustainable’ doesn’t make it so

New Zealand stopped logging old growth 20 years ago!

Calling logging ‘sustainable’ doesn’t make it so

Someone wrote last week that “well-planned logging, accompanied by restocking and good forest management is responsible, sustainable and reasonable.”

Unfortunately, calling it sustainable doesn’t make it so. In fact, six Canadians recently requested that the federal Competition Bureau investigate the Canadian Standards Association for promoting its forestry certification as an assurance of sustainability. They say its claim of sustainability is false and misleading, since it allows old-growth forests to be eradicated.

Science shows that only old-growth forests have a high degree of biodiversity and provide food and homes for wildlife. Animals die when we eradicate what they eat and where they live. Replanting with monoculture tree plantations, dousing them with pesticides, and cutting them down within 40 to 80 years does not provide homes and food for wildlife.

There is also the whole issue of respecting First Nations rights to source traditional foods and medicinal plants, and to practice their traditional culture on the land, including in areas they hold as sacred. These cannot be replaced.

We recently saw how quickly our warming climate can kill hundreds of people and devastate food production and infrastructure. One of the best ways to mitigate climate change is by retaining our old-growth trees and forests.

New Zealand stopped logging old growth 20 years ago! The state of California is less than half the size of B.C., yet protects more of its redwood forests than the total amount of old-growth forests we have left.

There is nothing sustainable for humans, animals or life on this planet if we all keep cutting down our remaining old growth forests.

Grace Golightly


Cowichan Valley Citizen