West Kootenay EcoSociety addresses BC old growth management report

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(Image provided by West Kootenay EcoSociety: Walking in an old growth forest near Giveout Creek)

The provincial government has released it's report on old growth forests, and the West Kootenay EcoSociety says cautious optimism best describes their reaction.

Executive Director Montana Burgess says the report is really great but there are a few items she would like to see tweaked.

For example the government wants to defer logging in nine different old growth areas including the Incomappleux Valley in the West Kootenays, which Burgess says is great but doesn’t exactly impact high-risk areas that are on the cutting block today.

She says there are quite a bit of old-growth areas in our neck of the woods, some of which are accessible through trails, adding it’s important to keep sharing information and educating the community on both their presence and impact.

Burgess says opportunities like the management report haven't come around for a while but industry vet's say this has happened before, where there is a lot of talk about preservation while high-risk old growth areas are still being actively logged behind the scenes.

Another sticking point for the EcoSociety is the government's claim that 23% of BC's forested land base is made up of old growth forest.

The Society says an independent report found that most of that 23% consists of small trees which are not valuable for logging, with only about 3% consisting of the large, iconic and ancient trees.

The report has 14 main recommendations; find the EcoSociety's full take online.