B.C. cities join push to halt Vancouver Island old-growth logging

UBCM delegates vote to protect remaining ancient forests on Crown land

Delegates voting Wednesday morning at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Victoria.

B.C. municipal leaders have thrown their weight behind a call to halt the logging of Vancouver Island’s remaining publicly owned old-growth forests.

The resolution passed by a significant margin Wednesday at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.

Metchosin Coun. Andy MacKinnon said the aim is to transition to a logging economy based solely on second-growth rather than the continued cutting of remaining old-growth.

“The current model of liquidating the last stands of old growth on this island is not serving anyone well,” Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt said. “There’s less jobs. There’s less protection for drinking watersheds. There’s less biological diversity. And there’s major threats to the tourism sector.”

SEE ALSO: Vancouver Island growing away from old growth logging?

Vancouver Island has 840,000 hectares of old-growth forest out of 1.9 million hectares of Crown forest, according to government statistics, and only only 313,000 hectares are available for timber harvesting.

Most of the old-growth is shielded in existing parks and protected areas, including the fully protected and specially managed areas of the Clayoquot Sound International Biosphere reserve.

Campbell River Coun. Charlie Cornfield was among the UBCM delegates who opposed the resolution.

“We come from a forest-dependent community,” Cornfield said. “Most on Vancouver Island still are, although some may not realize it.”

He said it was a review of old-growth logging plans would be wise, but called it a regional issue that should not be championed at the provincial level by UBCM.

“The rainforests of this island are an asset of provincial and global significance,” Isitt responded.

He said B.C. politicans would unite behind any equivalent threat to the Rocky Mountains, Great Bear Rainforest, Fraser River or Okanagan Lake “because of their importance to the economy, the ecology and the identity of this province.”

He also noted the B.C. Chamber of Commerce also supported the call for the old-growth ban.

North Cowichan Coun. Al Siebring said UBCM delegates should stick to issues that are under municipal jurisdiction such as provision of roads, water and sewer and fire protection.

“We wonder why so many of the resolutions we send to senior levels of government get blown off,” Siebring said. “It’s because we’re not sticking to our knitting.”

He said topics like old-growth logging and the Site C dam project – on which delegates voted to call for a construction halt and a new review by regulators – don’t fit the municipal mandate.

“If you want to set those kinds of policies, get your butt elected to the legislature.”

Other resolutions that passed Wednesday included:

– A call from the Cowichan Valley Regional District for a ban on businesses providing single-use plastic shopping bags;

– A resolution urging B.C. to regulate AirBNB-type online accommodation sellers to ensure a level playing field with conventional operators in the sector;

– A call for the province to reverse its recent policy of downloading the costs of DNA analysis for policing to municipalities;

– A request that any future federal or provincial tax on marijuana be shared with municipalities;

– That B.C. push the RCMP to reinstate the use of auxilliary constables for community events.

PHOTO ABOVE:A 70-metre-high Douglas fir dubbed Big Lonely Doug by activists is estimated to be nearly 850 years old. It’s about 15 kilometres northwest of Port Renfrew.

Just Posted

Contractors dig into construction of union office in Terrace

Traffic has been detoured on Kalum St. by Lazelle and Park Ave. for work on the BCGEU office

Baby bear captured on Kalum St.

Bear cub had been seen in area backyards for several days

Public asked to be on lookout for bear cub

Norhtern Lights Animal Shelter on its way here to capture baby bruin in Scott Avenue area.

Searchers rush to find missing hikers with one-year-old child

Family out overnight in cold near Watson Lake

Sears set to close its doors in Terrace

Action follows franchise owners’ successfull, 17-year run

VIDEO: ‘Lyle the singing pig’ searching for home

SPCA say the pig is ‘not opera-ready’

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Dodgers punch ticket to World Series

This will be the first time the Los Angles Dodgers have made it to the World Series since 1988.

Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

The Tofino Co-op will no longer provide plastic bags, following in the footsteps of the Ucluelet location that already made the change earlier this year.

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

B.C. woman plagued by bedbugs on airplane not surprising, says expert

Heather Szilagyi was on a British Airways flight when she noticed bedbugs crawling out of the seat

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Outspoken Mountie assigned to admin duties for refusing to shave goatee

The 15-year veteran of the force said he believes the RCMP is targeting him

Victim in fatal ammonia leak remembered for his passion and smile

Friends and colleagues remember Lloyd Smith as someone who was always willing to help people

Most Read