Finalizing Logging Deferrals to Save BC Old Growth Goes Slowly

By Andrew MacLeod
The Tyee
April 4, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Gerry Merkel

More than three years after announcing plans to defer logging of old-growth forests, the BC government continues talking with many individual Indigenous nations about whether or not to move ahead with the deferrals proposed on their territories. “The political decision was made, straight from the premier’s office, that we are not going to move with these unless we get First Nations’ agreement,” said Garry Merkel, a professional forester for 45 years and a Tahltan Nation member. …Merkel said that while some nations have said yes or no to proposed deferrals, most are still talking. That ongoing process underlies a recently publicized map, Merkel said. In a story published by The Tyee, Ben Parfitt argued the password-protected government mapping data he’d been leaked showed a “betrayal in the making”. …The report’s premise was simply wrong, said Merkel. …The map reflects the current state of that process. …Parfitt said he stands by his general conclusions… but regretted not mentioning that the government had referred the proposed deferrals to First Nations.

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