Poor data hinders B.C. old-growth logging deferrals, advocates say

By Brenna Owen
The Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
October 22, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Irreplaceable ancient forests that should meet criteria for interim protection are being left open to logging in BC due to outdated and inaccurate government data, advocates and an ecologist who advised the province say. “The deferral process was intended to stop the bleed,” said Karen Price, who served on the provincially appointed panel that identified 2.6 million hectares of high-priority old growth and recommended it be set aside from logging. …But Price said old growth remains unidentified and open to logging due to “problematic” data that underestimates its age, especially for ancient forests. …The discrepancy increases with age… so B.C.’s deferral process is missing areas that should meet the criteria for old growth, Price said. …The Forests Ministry said the panel worked with higher-level mapping and “acknowledged that the modelling would need to be verified and that some areas may turn out not to be what they had thought.”

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