Old growth in the Lardeau Valley. “There is basically nothing left like this anywhere, but most valley bottoms in the Kootenays were once like this,” says Rachel Holt of Veridian Ecological Consulting. Photo: Rachel Holt

Old growth in the Lardeau Valley. “There is basically nothing left like this anywhere, but most valley bottoms in the Kootenays were once like this,” says Rachel Holt of Veridian Ecological Consulting. Photo: Rachel Holt

Nelson scientists release maps of old growth forests, urge province to stop cutting

The report contains detailed maps of 2.6 per cent of the forested land in B.C.

A Nelson-based company has published a series of maps showing forests that the government’s own old growth panel recommended should not be logged until more planning is done.

Dr. Rachel Holt of Veridian Ecological Consultants said in a May 19 news release that the company developed and published the maps because the province did not do so, even though its own old growth panel recommended such mapping. Meanwhile, old growth logging continues, she said.

The provincial old growth panel’s report, A New Future for Old Forests, authored by foresters Garry Merkel and Al Gorley and published in April 2020, emphasized the need to halt cutting old trees and stop prioritizing timber supply over ecological values.

Holt says that has not happened. In an earlier report published in September, her company wrote that a forest ministry announcement of two-year shutdown of old growth logging, in response to the publication of A New Future for Old Forests, turned out to apply selectively to areas that were already protected, had already been logged, or were not slated for logging at all.

“In the last year, old growth forests that should have been protected have been logged due to a lack of clarity on the data and maps,” Holt said.

Dr. Rachel Holt of Nelson is one of a group of scientists who have mapped all the old growth forest that the province’s old growth panel said should be “deferred” from logging. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Dr. Rachel Holt of Nelson is one of a group of scientists who have mapped all the old growth forest that the province’s old growth panel said should be “deferred” from logging. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

The government’s old growth panel recommended that until a new old growth strategy is implemented, the province should “defer development in old forest where ecosystems are at very high and near-term risk of irreversible loss.”

Dave Daust, a forester and the project lead for the Veridian report, says the company’s new mapping will help the government do this.

“(Our mapping) represents the key criteria that the old growth panel outlined for immediate logging deferrals, including the tallest, largest forests, plus rare and ancient forest.”

The company has identified a total area of about 2.6 per cent of the forested land in B.C.

Veridian’s maps can be found at https://veridianecological.ca/old-growth-resilience/.

Asked to comment on Veridian’s maps, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, in an email, said they are currently analyzing the maps.

“Our initial observation is that this map takes a different approach to the identification of old growth areas for possible deferral than was recommended by the old growth strategic review panel,” the email states without elaborating on the nature of the difference.

Holt is critical of the provincial government for what she calls inaction in a time of an old growth crisis.

“This government has a history of starting out to do the right thing, but then getting cold feet and looking only through a timber supply lens when they make decisions,” she said.

Veridian Consultants said it developed maps and wrote its report on its own initiative, not sponsored by any group or agency.

Related:

Province ignoring need to preserve old growth forests, says Nelson scientist

Province’s response to old growth forest report falls short, says Nelson scientist

In the forest, a Nelson scientist discovers trees take care of their own



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

forestry

Just Posted

Tammy Bradford, manager of the Creston Museum & Archives for the last 23 years, wants to welcome visitors to check out their exhibits and programs this summer. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston Museum encourages summer visitors to check out programs and activities

After some temporary closures of indoor exhibits due to COVID-19, the museum has re-opened to welcome visitors

Nasukin Jason Louie of the Lower Kootenay Band poses under the mural in the administration building. The mural depicts past elders David Luke, Wilfred Jacobs, Isobel Louie, Charlotte Basil, and Louis White. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Lower Kootenay Band announces cross-border COVID-19 vaccine clinic

In partnership with the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, the clinic will be held on National Indigenous Peoples Day

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

South Slocan’s Ti Loran is among the recipients of this year’s Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
Neil Muth Memorial Scholarships awarded to 4 students

Students in Creston, South Slocan and Revelstoke are sharing the honour

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read