The following letter was addressed to the Sunshine Coast Community Forest board and shared with Coast Reporter.
Our organization, along with other users of the local forests, urge the Sunshine Coast Community Forest Board of Directors to guide the operations of this community forest license towards a higher level of forest protection.
SCCF is attempting to employ a version of Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) which sounds good on paper, however if the recommendation from its consultants at Madrone Environmental to increase its current 10 per cent protection level of old forest stands to 30 per cent is not implemented soon, there will be little left to protect in the near future.
Old forest is defined by density of veteran overstory trees and snags, vertical canopy differentiation, understory shrub and herb cover, coarse woody debris, and disturbance history. SCCF Operations is still targeting these types of locally rare older stands in Halfmoon Bay, Gray Creek Watershed and the Wilson Creek Watershed which remains controversial.
The federal government is encouraging provinces to protect 30 per cent of lands as a minimum to hedge against irreversible biodiversity loss and to combat climate chaos. We sincerely ask the chair of the SCCF Board to place on the agenda an item to discuss the implementation of a 30 per cent forest protection target across SCCF’s tenure to really have a robust EBM plan in place. All other considerations regarding timber revenues and keeping local logging contractors busy is secondary. You would be showing strong leadership at the Community Forest.
ELF: Forest Campaigner