Old-growth protection in place, but faces challenges

VICTORIA – An investigation into the state of old-growth forest retention in the province has concluded that, while old growth retention objectives are being implemented, government needs to track retention areas, and evaluate whether or not they are actually effective in protecting biodiversity.

The report, released today, notes that government and the forest industry have invested significant resources into identifying old-growth forest for retention since the mid-1990s. Over 55,000 old-growth management areas have been identified, covering nearly four million hectares of forest.

“We saw examples of forest companies voluntarily protecting old-growth management areas to ensure they are meeting the Province’s objectives,” said board chair Al Gorley. “However, because many of these areas do not have legal status, that protection is not guaranteed in the future. Even with legal status, protection is not assured when other industries operating on public land are not subject to the old-growth rules.”

The board’s report makes six recommendations to government to improve the protection of old-growth forests in the province.

The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board can investigate and report on current forestry and range issues and make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.

More information can be obtained by contacting:

Helen Davies, Communications
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 213-4708 / 1 800 994-5899