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

Debra Lynn photo
Mysterious smoke cloud seen in Seavac Centre

Fire crews did a thorough sweep of the centre.

North Island Gazette file photo of Port McNeill council.
Heated conversation occurs at Port McNeill council over policy request

Port McNeill mayor Gaby Wickstrom wants to see a change in the… Continue reading

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
The Port Alice pulp mill site is being ‘recycled’

Bankruptcy company is overseeing de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring.

Port Hardy Senior Citizens’ Society president Rosaline Glynn holds up the certificate from B.C. Premier John Horgan next to Loaves & Fishes director Peter Sinclair, vice president Kris Huddlestan, and Port Hardy mayor Dennis Dugas. (Submitted photo)
Port Hardy council to nominate Glynn for the Order of British Columbia

Glynn’s nomination was endorsed unanimously by council.

Emergency personnel crews on scene assisting BCEHS with patient care. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue photo)
Speed and alcohol believed to be the cause of Saturday night car crash

More information on the crash could potentially be released at a later date.

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Most Read