In a report released on Monday, Sierra Club BC said that majority of climate risks – including droughts, wildfires and landslides – are influenced by industrial logging. (Photo by Binny Paul/ Campbell River Mirror)

In a report released on Monday, Sierra Club BC said that majority of climate risks – including droughts, wildfires and landslides – are influenced by industrial logging. (Photo by Binny Paul/ Campbell River Mirror)

Logging practices increase risk of climate change disasters in B.C.: report

Sierra Club BC calls for forestry reforms and inclusion of Indigenous expertise to mitigate climate disaster risks

A new report published on Monday, called on B.C. to immediately reform its forestry practices, saying industrial logging is accelerating climate change-related issues across the province.

The report authored by Dr. Peter Wood and commissioned by Sierra Club B.C. says the provincial government can mitigate climate related disasters like flooding, droughts, fires and heatwaves by “swiftly” reforming the province’s forestry practices, applying Indigenous expertise and knowledge and protecting and restoring intact forests.

The report – Intact Forests, Safe Communities – found that logging has a “significant impact on the severity and frequency of climate risks” for communities in B.C.

“The science is clear that clearcutting increases the frequency and intensity of forest fires. We also know it increases both the risk of flooding and periods of drought, as well as erosion and slope instability, which increase the likelihood of landslides,” said Wood, in a statement.

The report also says that the province’s 2019 Preliminary Strategic Climate Risk Assessment did not take into account that logging worsens climate risks. This presents “a major blind spot that could undermine the effectiveness of the province’s response to global heating.”

Sierra Club BC’s report claims that out of the 15 climate risks identified in the 2019 assessment, a majority are influenced by logging.

The Mirror has reached out to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy for a response.

To avoid climate catastrophes the report calls on the government to implement all of the 14 recommendations from the 2020 Old Growth Strategic Review.

READ MORE: B.C. suspends some old-growth logging, consults communities

Last year the province commissioned the strategic review in a bid to transition towards sustainable forestry practices. One of the recommendations was to work together on forest management with First Nations.

The report emphasizes that the province must work with Indigenous decision-makers to incorporate their perspectives , cultural values and knowledge into forest management to mitigate climate risks.

Grand Chief Stewart Philip, President of the Union of BC Indian chiefs said since many First Nations have limited capacity and resources to respond to climate disasters, there’s bound to be devastating repercussions for vulnerable and marginalized people in the event of a climate crisis.

Philips called on the province to include Indigenous people to help guide B.C.’s transition to more sustainable and conservation-based practices.

Dr. Judith Sayers, President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council said that the report reflects what First Nations have “always known” – that the provincial government must change their forest management approach immediately.

“First Nations have long been lobbying the B.C. government to recognize their right to manage the forest in their territories and to protect their sacred sites, old-growth ecosystems that support medicinal plants, and habitat for wildlife and birds. Through management of their forests, they would keep healthy forests with high environmental standards,” said Sayers in the statement.



binny.paul@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Climate changeforestry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Alzheimer Society of BC is hosting a number of webinars next month to help people prepare for financial and healthcare needs. (Contributed photo)
Alzheimer Society invites White Rock residents to series of educational webinars

Planning Ahead: Do it Now! webinar to be held March 10

South Surrey’s Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann – the Bergmann Piano Duo – will present another colorful Surrey Civic Theatres Digital Stage concert., premiering online March 11. Contributed photo
South Surrey pianists Bergmann Duo blend musical colours

Rhapsody In Blue meets The Red Violin in online concert

St. John Ambulance is looking for financial support in its bid to install 1,000 publicly accessible AED devices throughout British Columbia. The stands which hold the defibrillator also contain naloxone and first aid kits. Cost to equip and install each stand is around $8,000. (stock photo)
St. John Ambulance aims to install 1,000 publicly accessible AEDs across B.C.

First of two defibrillators planned for Crescent Beach already in place

(Black Press - file photo)
WEATHER: Enjoy the sun today, prepare for a week of rain

Clouds and rain to arrive by evening, Environment Canada forecasts

Alex Browne photo The felling of two mature Douglas Fir ‘eagle trees’ on Oxford Street, just south of Prospect Avenue, in June of 2019, prompted a review of tree management bylaws and policies now before White Rock council. The trees were felled on instructions from City of White Rock staff, who said the work was necessary because they had become hazardous. (File photo)
City of White Rock mulls ‘tree protection’ bylaw

More stringent measures needed to protect canopy – councillor

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

Judith Uwamahoro is Black, approximately 4’7″ tall, 80 pounds and has short black hair and brown eyes. (Surrey RCMP handout)
UPDATED: Lower Mainland 9-year-old located after police make public plea

Judith Uwamahoro went missing Friday at around 4 p.m. in Surrey

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Five-year-old Nancy Murphy wears a full mask and face shield as she waits in line for her kindergarten class to enter school during the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Variant of concern linked to COVID-19 outbreak at three Surrey schools

Cases appear to be linked to community transmissions, but schools will remain open

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Most Read