Sunday, June 20, 2010

Save BC's Forests

The reforestation industry on Canada's west coast is in a huge mess right now. As a result of the recent economic downturn, dozens and dozens of mills have gone out of business. Unfortunately, in an attempt to save money, reforestation of logged areas is being thrown by the wayside.

In addition to that problem, the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation in BC has impacted approximately fifteen million hectares of forest. It is estimated that around a third of that land will NOT regenerate naturally, and will require human intervention in the form of tree planting. The government has no intention to address reforestation in most of this area.

Twenty years ago, the province planted far, far more trees than today. In terms of reforestation, 2010 is the worst year in a couple decades. The low number of seedlings being planted is going to drop even further in 2011. While the province can invest a billion dollars into the Olympics, it cannot muster the political will to invest a few hundred million more into reforestation, which will provide the backbone of a sustainable forestry industry (and tens of thousands of jobs) for decades to come.

Take a look at this graphic, and you can see how much pine has been killed in the province as of 2009:

Original map at:

Check out this story from the CBC in 2007 that suggested that reforesting the Pine Beetle forests might take about thirteen centuries:

In this photo that I took near Kamloops in 2008, you can see the extent of the mortality among mature trees. The very youngest trees (about ten years and less) are generally not being affected, but almost everything else is:

Please, if you care about the environment (even if you don't live in British Columbia), take a moment to visit the website, and sign their petition urging greater government support for reforestation. It will only take a minute for you to read it and sign. Click on this link so you can read and sign the petition:

Link to the Petition

Please forward this link to any of your friends or family who might be concerned about this issue. Thanks ...