A strong majority of British Columbia residents care a great deal about the health of the province’s old-growth forests, and many believe the Horgan government is doing a poor job of protecting them, a recent survey suggests.
In a survey of 831 B.C. residents led by Insights West, 85% said they wanted Premier John Horgan to make good on his election promise “to implement all the recommendations from the independent Old-Growth Panel Review,” writes Sierra Club BC. Specifically, they want him to defer all logging in at-risk old-growth forests, prioritize biodiversity protections, and develop a transition plan to help the forest industry adapt to these changes.
The majority of respondents also agreed the province needs to work with Indigenous leaders at all stages of the implementation process.
“These polling results show very clearly that the escalating frustration and despair about logging of the last old-growth forests for short-term profit is shared by the vast majority of British Columbians who want the provincial government to follow through on their promises without further delay,” said Jens Wieting, the Club’s senior forest and climate campaigner.
Respondents expressed particular concern about the NDP government’s stewardship of forest resources, specifically the export of raw logs and logging for wood pellets, and of natural ecosystems in general. Almost three-quarters (74%) of those polled supported doubling protected provincial lands, to 30%.
“British Columbians are more concerned than ever about threats to the web of life and lack of action for future generations,” said Wieting. “They are dismayed by the irresponsible talk-and-log approach to old-growth and expect leadership for a just transition towards truly sustainable jobs that respect ecological limits.”