Holocaust of the Old-Growth Forests

Aug 12, 2020 | Environment | 1 comment

The Fairy Creek blockade, defending the last remaining intact watershed that feeds the San Juan River, is making news headlines this week. I fully support this action and although I am not a forester or a scientist, I am a retired psychotherapist, who grew up with a proud ex-logger father who hammered into his offspring that forests are resources to be exploited and even seen as an encroaching enemy of civilization. My parents’ post-war attitude of colonization was rooted in fear of difference, fear of strangers, of what is unclean, untameable, dark, and of the natural world. Genocide and ecocide are linked, just as greed and hatred are. Now we should know better. Wild ecosystems are actually vital to maintaining our human need for beauty, spiritual meaning, interdependency and integrity. With the imminent destruction of BC’s last remaining ancient forests, using the word “holocaust” seems horrifyingly accurate.

In June, a team of independent scientists, headed by Rachel Holt, revealed that the NDP have been obscuring how much old forest is left. She called their words, “incredibly misleading.” The official tally says there is 23% of the original ancient forest left. Rachel Holt claims most of that 23% are small old alpine trees and/or small old trees in boggy forests. She explains that big old forests make up 1% of that 23%. She predicts that if we keep cutting them down, all will disappear within 12 years. Karen Price, another scientist suggests that” the ecological web of life” is vanishing in front of our eyes. BC Timber Sales, are currently permitting logging in the Taylor River, Upper Tsitika Valley, the Nahmint and the Caycuse, and are poised to cut Dakota Ridge on the Sunshine Coast, home to many black bears and their huge cedar denning trees. Ironically, the Old-Growth Review panel has delayed the official news release until the fall. Unofficially, we know an overwhelming majority of the presenters want to save old-growth forests. This June, a report came out outlining plant and animal species only found in Canada. The conclusions states that we need to protect more lands to protect iconic species. Vancouver Island is the second biggest hotspot in Canada, full of iconic species, and yet it is being raped and pillaged as never before. BC has a global responsibility to save what ancient forest is left for many reasons:

1. Stabilizing climate: Old forests store alot more carbon than young
ones and they cool air temperatures. Ecological apocalypse and run
away tipping points are driven by deforestation and the demise of
2. Species at risk: Biodiversity depends on animals and plants having
enough space to reproduce and evolve. Salmon, orcas: rivers, streams, slope/soil stability, fungi,
birds and bear life cycles all interact and depend on
healthy forests.
4. Indigenous land rights: Most or all of the forests being logged
were stolen from indigenous peoples. The logging corporations
consult with Band Counculs, using bribes of small logging operations, while hereditary family members are ignored.
5. Evolutionary Survival: Old-Growth is an apex phenomenon which takes
up to one thousand years to accomplish. The great mystery of evolution must be respected.
6. Pandemic restraints: Wild animals that live in forests carry
viruses that humans cannot withstand.

” The path of faith is protest.” Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Eartha Muirhead



At issue is the forecasted hot and dry weather conditions over the August long weekend and beyond, with no significant precipitation in the forecast. With wildfire danger ratings at local stations already at Extreme, all users of the Cumberland trails are asked to be extra cautious and vigilant while recreating in the trail system.

Metal Recycling at Kus-kus-sum

Metal Recycling at Kus-kus-sum

In the spirit of summer fun, Project Watershed is holding a contest to see who can guess the number of full bins of metal that will come of the site. If you want to take a stab at estimating, email Caila.Holbrook@projectwatershed.ca, or post your guess to Instagram or Facebook with #metalrecycling and #kuskussum, by Friday June 23rd. The closest three guesses will win a $25 gift certificate from the Peninsula Co-op. If there are more than three correct guesses we will draw three names from those who have guessed correctly.

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1 Comment

  1. Ernie J Sellentin

    I grew up in a logging family and became a faller by age 21. When I quit commercial falling in 1995 I would estimate I had clearcut 20,000 acres of old growth. I still have my coastal faller certification and am appalled how we are chasing down the last of the old growth. It is long past time to stop logging old growth. Look out your window, 150 years ago in good ground the trees would be close to 150 feet tall in every direction. Is there 20% of the original biomass from 150 years ago in your neighborhood. So let’s be generous with Eartha’s estimate and say there is 4% larger old growth left. Who in there right mind can think reducing biomass by 80% and leaving 4% old growth with no intact watersheds is a sound policy.
    I have no faith that the NDP will stop old growth logging. Many of the workers on the ground support the NDP. They can’t afford to lose those votes. Liberals are supported by commercial logging interests so no better.


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