Island Timberlands is clearcutting old-growth near Port Alberni!
As we speak, ecologically significant old-growth Douglas-fir and hemlock stands are being logged on McLaughlin Ridge, near Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. Island Timberlands – well known for its landscape-scarring industrial clearcuts on BC’s west coast – is at it again.
McLaughlin Ridge sits just to the south of Mt. Arrowsmith, between the Cameron River and China Creek watersheds, the latter of which is the drinking water source for the City of Port Alberni. The part of the ridge being clearcut contains Douglas-fir trees over 500 years old (extremely rare on Vancouver Island). It’s also prime winter range for ungulate species like deer, and provides habitat for the endangered Queen Charlotte goshawk.
I visited McLaughlin Ridge this week with members of the Alberni Watershed-Forest Alliance to see the destruction for myself. I’ve been in Island Timberlands clearcuts before, so I had braced myself – but what we saw still made me feel sick. Old-growth forest that had been standing just a few weeks ago is now flattened: Douglas-firs two metres thick at the base lying on top of each other in fields of debris, every fern on the forest floor covered by shattered branches and sawdust.
For photos from the trip, click here [https://wildernesscommittee.org/victoria/photos_old_growth_logging_mclaughlin_ridge].
It’s appalling that companies are still cutting old-growth on Vancouver Island. These forests are worth far more standing – as carbon sinks, endangered wildlife habitat and migration corridors, and tourism and cultural resources.
We need to demand that Island Timberlands stop clearcutting on McLaughlin Ridge immediately, and the BC Ministry of Forests must step in and develop a real conservation plan for this forest and the other remaining old-growth areas on Vancouver Island.
Please take a minute to send a message to Island Timberlands CEO Darshan Sihota and Minister of Forests Steve Thomson today.
It’s time for leadership and action to protect Vancouver Island’s remaining old-growth forests before they’re gone.
For the old-growth giants,
Torrance Coste | Vancouver Island Campaigner