Help save our shrinking forests

Hardly a week goes by without news of more forest clearcuts in a sea of clearcuts and subdivisions.

Our forests are shrinking all around us, with trees of all ages being cut down without any voice given to growing populations who are critically dependent on healthy watersheds that are in turn dependent on healthy forests. We all benefit from forests, yet there is little or no consultation with the public on forest management decisions. This has to change.

Locally, we already experience a myriad of impacts from poor forest management including low flows in rivers and streams, diminishing ground water supply and aquifer recharge, increased flood events, drying of wetlands that feed salmon streams and rivers, and loss of recreational opportunities.

This trend must be reversed.

Trees also help keep us healthy. Scientific evidence confirms that the air around trees is loaded with beneficial bacteria, essential oils, and disease-preventing chemicals, and that humans receive therapeutic “preventive medicine” effects from forests.

The Journal of Science states: “It is vitally important that we protect the forests that exist today, and forest regeneration is a very effective climate change solution”.

Here’s what you can do: The BC Government is asking for input to amend the Private Managed Forest Land Act that regulates forestry on private land that has less regulations than public forest lands.

Survey and feedback forms are available at: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc/consultation/private-managed-forest-land-program-review/ . The deadline is July 22 at 4 p.m.

Ronda Murdock

Arrowsmith Parks and Land-Use Council

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