The Future of Forests and Communities on Vancouver Island

IFF Police Statement

The forests and communities of Vancouver Island are at a crossroads.

One path entails ongoing public subsidies toward liquidation of the island’s last old-growth rainforests for commodity exports and underutilization of second-growth forests – with declining jobs, communities and revenues, and harm to ecosystems and watersheds.

The other path protects biological diversity and embraces modern silvicultural practices, working with nature to grow high-quality, high-value wood and optimizes the social and economic return to communities from every tree logged from Vancouver Island’s managed forests through an immediate transition from:

(1) old-growth logging to ecological management of second-growth forests;
(2) volume-based commodity exports to value-based production of high-quality wood products;
(3) capital-intensive to knowledge- and labour-intensive processes;
(4) corporate tenures on Crown land to community tenures administered by regional districts and First Nations.

This policy statement and its lead sponsor, Island Forest Futures, advocate strongly for Vancouver Islanders to embrace the transition to a Value-Based Silvicultural Model with Democratic Land Management through Regional Forest Boards and Regional Log Markets.

Learning from Sweden, where sustainable forestry was implemented after old-growth forests had been eliminated, we can make the transition now – protecting old-growth forests and drinking watersheds, recognizing timber production and biological diversity as equal under the law, and increasing the social and economic potential of Vancouver Island’s forests for present and future generations.


Read the Policy Statement here (2.1MB PDF)


Learn more and share your views at this free public event:

Future of Forests event - Sept. 26J

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  • commented 2016-09-19 22:16:22 -0700
    As I read through this post from Ben it is refreshing to hear of people taking action on a much needed issue. My heart definitely echoes Chloe your concern and grateful to hear about Squamish nation as a local Role Model. I’m curious to find Squamish Nations forest practices and how municipalities can implement the value system of indigenomics.

    Currently the concept of heritage conservation favors settler heritage value systems or else only acknowledge first nations rights to governing land if shown the land was used before the constitution of Canada was formed or adoption to settler value systems and even then it seems that there is little understanding of importance of protecting wild ecosystems due to current outdated policy procedures.

    Currently I scanned the BC Forest Act I didn’t see the Heritage Conservation Act acknowledged " outdated but essential piece of legislation that is meant to protect culturally modified sites * What accountability is there to corporations, private owners, licence holders and public to uphold respect and protection to cultural sites used presently as well as in the past? We know that protecting the rights of the people of the land in self governing is essential for the health and well being of all nations that make these lands home *

    Currently by federal, provincial and municipal governing serving permits to corporate and private entities so bylaws/laws that protect the land are removed so “development” can go ahead is what is causing destruction and disrespect to the lands. We need laws that protect the land period and authorities to enforce protection of the lands even in the face of dangling money in front of peoples eyes. To protect the natural landscape is protect the people.

    Deep gratitude to all the people who are truly protecting and caring for the (bio) diverse life. Thank you for all that you are doing.

    In deep appreciation
  • commented 2016-03-30 17:14:32 -0700
    White person to white person, this seems very white-people-y. This draft nods to traditional stewardship of forests by Indigenous peoples, but it looks like you didn’t actually collaborate with any of the actual Indigenous communities on Vancouver Island. To propose solutions for the future of forests and communities, that are based in settler democracy… While it’s better than corporate/private control, it’s not as meaningful as it could be. Have you looked at what Squamish Nation is doing re: forestry management? This document needs decolonizing.