All old-growth forest should be protected

Re: “Some old-growth logging is necessary,” letter, July 29.

Bob Matters of the United Steelworkers Wood Council appears oblivious to the fact that 94 per cent of the old-growth forest on Vancouver Island has already been logged.

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For the union to be advocating for the logging of the remaining six per cent of old-growth forest confirms my long-held understanding that the forest industry and the United Steelworkers’ Union want it all and will only change direction once it is gone.

Is the union unable to connect the dots between the substantial numbers of mill closures and of lost forestry jobs with stripping Vancouver Island of its old-growth forests?

The livelihoods of all those displaced forestry workers and their families — a number that might well exceed that of the remaining union members on the Island — will be the stronger for the protection of the remaining six per cent of the Island’s old-growth forests and for better management of the Island’s second- and third-growth forests with much longer rotations.

High-quality wood is what has created forestry jobs. The emphasis needs to be on growing it, not on logging the remnant six per cent of a priceless heritage.

Anthony Britneff

Retired professional forester


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