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

Barb Matfin with the old Piston Bully at the 100 Mile Nordics. The club is looking to raise money to replace its aging fleet as the demand for cross-country skiing grows. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
100 Mile Nordics seek funds to upgrade equipment

Pisten Bully is 36 years old and replacement parts are hard to find, making it unreliable.

Murray Booth is a conservation officer in 100 Mile House. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press).
Conservation officer game for anything

No day is ever the same for Murray Booth, one of two COs in 100 Mile House.

Interior Health has issued an overdose alert for 100 Mile House.
Interior Health issues overdose alert for 100 Mile House

Health officials encourage users to be careful and spread the word.

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

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

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