BC's new approach on Old Growth Forests and 'On the Verge', a film by Arc'teryx
Old-growth forests mean so many things to so many people. Some only see dollar signs, but these landscapes have value far beyond that which can be extracted through the harvesting of timber. These forests are one of the most valuable and productive carbon storage systems on the planet, and the ecosystems they form support biodiversity on a scale that is difficult to grasp. Beyond their ecological and timber values, these spaces are havens for tourism and recreation, offering unique experiences for locals and visitors alike to step into a world unlike anywhere else on the planet.The stone walls of the Eldrid Valley. Image courtesy of prpeak.com.
The Eldrid Valley is one place where these values are currently in conflict. The valley is located just outside the small town of Powell River, a community that wouldn’t exist without the logging industry. The logging activities have created access to incredible, world-class climbing areas that are still in the early stages of discovery and development. One of the things that make this climbing area special is the old-growth forests that sit at the base of the massive stone walls. These strips of forest are the last remainders of old-growth remaining in the valley and are now at risk of being logged due to advances in logging technology. Below is a video that celebrates the history of climbing and logging in the area, and speaks to the opportunity to save what’s left of these ancient forests.
As of September 2020, the BC government has released plans to protect some old-growth areas, but many feel it’s not enough. These plans can be reviewed on the BC government website, while opinions on these plans can be found in articles by the Endangered Ecosystems Alliance and the Coast Reporter.
If you would like to raise your voice on the issue, it’s not too late. While the official offer to comment through the government engagement process is now closed, the Endangered Ecosystems Alliance is offering an easy way to submit your opinion.