Why should we care about the fate of 150 acres of Coastal Douglas fir forest with an uninspiring and bureaucratic name such as DL 33?
After all, Alberta’s tar sands have already turned 1,000 times as much boreal forest into a heart wrenching industrial waste land.
The British Columbia government removed a forest 1,000 times bigger just from Vancouver Island’s Tree Farm License 44 and 39, exposing the old growth forest ecosystems and their endangered species to the whims of a single logging and development corporation, Island Timberlands.
What makes DL33 a special treasure is shared by a snow leopard, the Cathedral of Notre Dam, Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata or a blue whale.
They are rare irreplaceable wonders of creation.
You can’t measure the value of a songbird by the pound and you can’t measure the value of the wondrous life forms and miraculous interconnections of an ecosystem by the acre.
Like the snow leopard and the Blue whale, the coastal Douglas fir zone) is ICUN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) red-listed, critically endangered, globally imperiled, less than one per cent left on the planet.
The Convention on Biological Diversity, an internationally legally binding treaty opened for signing at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
Canada became a party on June 11, 1992. Biodiveristy — The Insurance Policy for Life Itself shouts Canada’s website (www.biodivcanada.ca).
It goes on: “An important component of this wealth is Canada’s biodiversity — the variety of genes, species and ecosystems and the ecological processes that allow them to evolve and adapt to a changing world.
“Canadians care about biodiversity because it touches their lives, and their livelihoods, in very direct and personal ways.
“Canadians have rallied to support their special places and species at risk because they instinctively understand the aesthetic, recreational, spiritual and cultural importance of biodiversity.”
According to the website, Canada seems to get it. Yet we have to wonder why did both the federal and British Columbia governments promote the destruction of one of the last remaining stands of older coastal Douglas fir on Vancouver Island by the Nanoose First Nation?
The Regional District of Nanaimo, the Association of Vancouver Island Municipalities and Coastal Communities, the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve, the Arrowsmith Parks and Land Use Council, the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, Scott Fraser, local MLA, and many others practically begged the B.C. Ministry of Forests and British Columbia premiers Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark to find another source of economic development than the few dollars this tiny forest would provide.
The forest and all the flora, fauna, insects and micro-organisms that make up this very beautiful, rich and unique ecosystem is in the process right now of being destroyed.
Let’s rally now in order to prevent a similar fate to the rest of our very rare and very precious old growth forest left of Vancouver Island. DL33 will not have died in vain.