Less than one-third of the world’s primary forests are still intact. Deep in the interior of British Columbia, a temperate rainforest that holds vast stores of carbon and is home to endangered caribou is being clear-cut as fast as the Amazon
By Sarah Cox, Originally published on Jul 27, 2019 at The Narwhal
On a balmy day in mid-July, in the heart of British Columbia, Dominick DellaSala steps out of a rented truck to examine the remains of one of the rarest ecosystems on the planet.
DellaSala, a scientist studying global forests that hold vast stores of carbon, is silent for a moment as he surveys a logging road punched through an ancient red cedar and western hemlock grove only days earlier.
A spared cedar tree, at least 400 years old, stands uncloaked in the sun beside the road, an empty bear den hidden in its hollow trunk.
“I haven’t seen logging this bad since I flew over Borneo,” says DellaSala, president and chief scientist at the Geos Institute in Ashland, Oregon, a partner in an international project to map the world’s most important unlogged forests.
“It was a rainforest. Now it’s a wasteland.”
Continue reading at The Narwhal
At the world’s first breeding centre in Langley, B.C., spotted owls are hatched in incubators, given around the clock medical care and hand fed euthanized rodents in a last-ditch effort to save the species from Canadian extinction. All the while scientists warn that the province has yet to recognize the endangered raptor as a symbol of our escalating failure to protect old-growth forests. Read the entire in-dept piece by Sarah Cox at The Narwhal.
DellaSala likened the spotted owl to the quintessential canary in a coal mine. The owl is an indicator of a “whole complex ecosystem with all the parts that are in jeopardy,” he said. “This is just one of the parts and it’s telling us we have not done a responsible job of maintaining the old-growth ecosystems upon which the owl and thousands of other species depend.”
Over 220 international scientists called on the British Columbia government to halt the rapacious logging of temperate rainforests in the province. BC coastal and inland rainforests are globally rare and strategic to Canada's commitments to the Paris climate change accord. Read the full letter here.
Old Growth BC rainforests are among the most carbon dense forests on Earth, playing a strategic role in Canada's commitments to the historic Paris climate change accord. (Photo credit: Conservation North)
Click for the June 28, 2018 press release.
- Interview: Early Edition with Stephen Quinn (Vancouver)
- Interview: On the Island with Gregor Craigie (Vancouver Island)
- Interview: Daybreak South with Chris Walker (Kelowna and Interior BC)
- Interview: Daybreak North with Carolina de Ryk (Prince Rupert, Prince George, Northern BC) - segment begins at 1 hour, 22 minutes
- Article: 223 international scientists urge B.C. to protect provincial rainforests (CBC, June 28, 2018)
- Article: If an old-growth tree falls in a forest, does it make political hay? (Jack Knox for the Times-Colonist, June 29, 2018)
- Op-Ed: Call for action on B.C.'s old-growth rainforests (Dominick DellaSala, Barbara Zimmerman, and Andy MacKinnon, The Province, July 4, 2018)
- Article: B.C. loggers aim to transition away from harvesting old growth — but it could take 90 years (Jon Hernandez, CBC News, July 8, 2018)
- Op-Ed: Our rainforests need action urgently (Jens Weiting, Times-Colonist, July 11, 2018)
You can also learn more about this and other temperate rainforests in "Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World" by Dr. Dominick DellaSala.
Watch and listen to two recent talks given by Dr. Dominick DellaSala at the University of British Columbia (UNBC) Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Institute. Videos are available on the UNBC website, or click below to go directly to Dominick's talks.