New Risk to Clayoquot Sound

More than 130 scientists across North America have just signed a declaration calling for permanent protection of Clayoquot Sound’s remaining intact old-growth rainforests. But that might not be enough to protect the area.

The B.C. government has received an application for logging in the old growth rainforest of Flores Island in Clayoquot Sound, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that was the site of the largest civil disobedience protest in Canada’s history in 1993, reports the Sierra Club BC.

Clayoquot Sound cc Sierra Club BC
cc Sierra Club BC

“It’s very disturbing that the B.C. government could approve logging of one of Vancouver Island’s last intact ancient rainforest valleys,” said Dan Lewis, Executive Director of Friends of Clayoquot Sound. “People believe that Clayoquot Sound’s famous rainforests are protected, but they aren’t.”

A new Sierra Club BC map, also recently released, shows that only 21 of Vancouver Island’s 282 major rainforest watersheds are unlogged. Of the seven unlogged Vancouver Island watersheds that lack permanent protection, five are in Clayoquot Sound, including on Flores Island.

“Our map shows that there is nowhere else left on Vancouver Island, except Clayoquot Sound, that provides extensive high quality habitat for rainforest species such as bears and wolves,” said Jens Wieting, Forest Campaigner with Sierra Club BC.

The area was designated a United Nations Biosphere Reserve in 2000, but that designation does not confer legal protection. Now, once again, it’s up to us all to let the BC government know that it’s wrong to log what’s left of the original forest.

Join with Friends of Clayoquot Sound, Sierra Club BC and other environmental organizations working to protect the intact rainforests of the region and who are calling on the B.C. government to offer short-term alternatives to logging, in order to allow more time to develop solutions for protection like conservation financing.

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Alison Wheatley

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