Cortes Island, a northern Gulf Island between Vancouver Island and the BC mainland, is home to some of the last 1% of old-growth Douglas fir groves within the endangered “Dry Maritime” forests along BC’s southern coast. These are some of the most extensive remaining stands and are owned by corporate logging giant, Island Timberlands. Local residents are staunchly opposed to the planned industrial logging of these ancient and mature forests and other sensitive ecosystems. The protection of these forests will take a willingness of Island Timberlands to sell their lands at a fair market value – not at an overinflated price – and for various levels of government (particularly the provincial government) and other organizations and individuals to provide the funds. For lands not purchased for protection, the company must conduct its forestry operation in line with community eco-forestry values and standards. Ultimately, stronger privately managed forest land regulations are needed in BC.
To support the Cortes Island activists, visit their website to find out ways you can help.
Sign the online petition to protect old-growth forests and forestry jobs. Photography by TJ Watt.