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Letter to the Editor: Old growth trees are worth more standing

‘For our well-being, we need as many old-growth trees left standing as there are presently living in B.C.’
(File photo)

The Old-Growth Strategic Review Report calls for a forestry reform harvest paradigm shift. What is so outstandingly important about is the fact that the old-growth trees sequester the most climate-crisis carbon emissions. For our well-being, we need as many old-growth trees left standing as there are presently living in B.C.

Additionally, every year our communities are put on water rations as a result of climate change increasing air temperatures. These droughts should be alarming people and have them asking, “How can we save and increase our moisture levels?” Old-growth trees attract the most rainfall to the forest through their respiration, their root systems hold the most water that they release slowly, keeping the soils moist and intact and keeping the fish-bearing streams running. Young trees cannot fulfill this critical function until they are much older. Many professional foresters are calling for sustainable logging methods that create smaller cutblocks that leave undisturbed forest floor intact. Mother trees provide the necessary refugia to preserve the continuum of diverse forest health, functioning as natural tree nurseries. They provide wildlife corridors, and food and shelter to the animals.

There are very good examples of sustainable selective logging in B.C. such as our local Blue Mountain Logging, Creston Community Forest, and the Harrop-Proctor Community Forest.

Climate change is already radically impacting our environment, our livelihoods, and our safety. For example, within seven months, the Kootenay region has experienced three fierce new wind-pattern micro-bursts that snapped and up-rooted hundreds of healthy large trees. The massive amounts of wood debris are so frighteningly susceptible to fuelling wildfires, never mind the stress we suffered from the threat and loss to our personal health and property, the loss of electricity to preserve our food freezers for many days, the loss of communication and road access in case of an emergency. We take the climate crisis seriously now, this is disruptive enough already!

Implementing the current logging practises as suggested in Al Gorely and Gary Merkle’s Old-Growth Strategic Review Report will help B.C. mitigate this climate-devastation that we are suffering. Considering that the Old-Growth Trees are worth more standing in their valuable climate change mitigation and weather stabilization function. So much old growth has been logged already, I believe there should be a moratorium on logging any more old-growth trees until a province-wide climate crisis coping discussion and strategy is made to reform and create a sustainable long-term forestry industry.

Susan Eyre, Sirdar

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About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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