LETTER: Endangered forests? We live in one

From reader Nadine Raynolds

Endangered rainforests are not just in places like the Amazon.

Our backyard is literally one of the last remaining pockets of rainforest in the world. There are only three inland temperate rainforests on this planet: in the Russian far east, inland southern Siberia, and right here in the interior wet belt of southeastern British Columbia.

Today, we are cutting down the last, oldest, biggest trees on earth. With no signs of stopping.

These ancient forests have the highest concentration of rainforest lichens in the world, along with unique species such as mountain caribou, a wide variety of birds, and the full suite of forest carnivores. This rainforest also provides freshwater for millions of people, is a carbon storage powerhouse, and a mecca for outdoor recreation. It’s quite literally a global gem. But, sadly, our rainforest now sits in a sea of clear cuts, and this summer, a storm of climate change-induced forest fires.

Using the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red-list ecosystem criteria, B.C.’s inland rainforest is ranked as “critical” (critically endangered ecosystems are those where the geographic distribution has been reduced by 80 per cent or more over the past 50 years). According to just-released research, if logging rates continue at current levels, ecosystem collapse will happen within nine to 18 years. Our backyard is now on the trajectory to being one of the world’s most imperilled temperate rainforests.

Things need to change. Even the Premier acknowledged there needs to be a “paradigm shift” when it comes to how and where we log.

Governments are waking up to the facts. We, the people, need to keep putting on the pressure to show we care and let government and industry know that it’s time to cut it out. Take action and learn more: y2y.net/ontheground.

Nadine Raynolds

Yukon to Yellowstone Conservation Initiative

New Denver

Nelson Star