The Ancient Forest Alliance has released a report that considers the economic implications of protecting old-growth forests when taking ecosystem services like carbon storage, recreation, tourism, salmon habitat, and other values into account.
The study, which took 2.5 years to complete, uses old-growth forests near Port Renfrew, in the territories of the Pacheedaht and Ditidaht First Nations, as a case study.
The intention of this study was not to unilaterally determine how old-growth forests should be managed at a local scale. Rather, it considers many potential old-growth logging/protection scenarios to better understand what’s possible and explores the economic benefits and implications of those scenarios in order to provide a useful resource to inform land-use decision-making.
The BC government’s Old Growth Strategic Review Panel recommended the province develop local and provincial transition plans and support communities in transitioning their economies while pursuing science-based old-growth protection. We hope this study, which explores alternative uses and economic benefits of standing old-growth forests, can assist in that work.
The AFA’s mandate is to work within the law to advocate for policy change to protect endangered old-growth ecosystems, and to support First Nations and rural communities to find solutions that support ecological, economic, and community wellbeing.
We are calling for old-growth logging deferrals, upon the consent of First Nations, in the most at-risk old-growth ecosystems, as described by the Old Growth Strategic Review Panel, while long-term conservation solutions are found.
We are also working to leverage provincial and federal funding to assist land-embedded communities, including First Nations, to undertake land-use planning, develop new protected areas (including Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas), and support sustainable economic alternatives to old-growth logging.