Old-Growth Logging in British Columbia Drops to Record Low

The British Columbia provincial government on Wednesday (11-2-22) provided an update on its implementation of the Old Growth Strategic Review. According to the latest numbers released, old-growth logging in BC has decreased to the lowest level on record.

Logging of old growth has been reduced by 42%, from an estimated 65,500 hectares in 2015 to 38,300 hectares in 2021. The areas logged in 2021 represent 0.3% of the estimated 11.1 million hectares of old growth in the province.

In November 2021, the province released the findings of the independent Old Growth Technical Advisory Panel. The panel identified four million hectares of old forest most at risk for biodiversity loss.

In total, approximately 80% of the priority at-risk old growth identified by the panel is not threated by logging because it is permanently protected, covered by recent deferrals and/or not economic to harvest. This is an area equal to 7,600 Stanley Parks and is as large as Vancouver Island. By contrast, 0.23% of the forest identified by the panel were logged in the past year.

To support the implementation of the Old Growth Strategic Review, the province is working towards a new Old Growth Strategic Action Plan, which will be developed in partnership with First Nations and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023.

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