Logging company Teal Cedar Ltd. to receive public feedback today
Lək̓ʷəŋən Territories (Victoria BC), March 3, 2022: Teal Cedar Ltd., the company logging in ‘Ada’itsx/Greater Fairy Creek will accept public comments on its Proposed Management Plan #5 until 11:59 PST today. Proponents for old growth forests including biologists, activists, teachers, lawyers, and students have written to say that the plan is insufficient in meeting habitat loss, protection of at-risk species, and mitigating climate change. Many also say that BC taxpayers should not subsidize the industry, which according to a recent Ministry of Forests response to a Freedom of Information request, amounts to $942,466 each day in BC.
Old growth logging at Fairy Creek has seen significant opposition and this Plan is no exception. Teal Cedar Product Ltd is currently required under BC forest regulations to file a Management Plan for the its tree farm license. Teal Cedar must open the plan to public feedback but the Province leaves it to the tenure holder, Teal Cedar, to summarize public comments. For this reason, hundreds are also forwarding their comments so their concerns are not lost directly to Steven Guilbeault, Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change; Premier John Horgan; Forest Minister Katrine Conroy; Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman; Chief Forester Diane Nicholls;  Graham Wells from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development; and Enviroinfo Canada.
Concerns are widespread including protection of species like the increasingly rare Marbled Murrelet whose only nesting areas are high upon the branches of towering old growth trees.
“Why isn’t the information by independent researchers who discovered Marbled Murrelet nesting behaviour in TFL 46 contained within your report?” posits Dr. Briony Penn, who worked with the original Marbled Murrelet recovery team, and the original BC Resource Inventory Committee in the 90s.
Teal Cedar’s Management Plan #5 is not an easy read with varying versions within the document incorporated via appendices. Comments have included content deficiencies and lack of pagination and Index for the entire document.
If Management Plan #5 is approved, which is a requirement for Teal Cedar’s Tree Farm Licence (TFL 46) renewal, proponents to save old growth are saying all of us will suffer the consequences, from climate change, flooding, potential forest fires, loss of salmon habitat, loss of endangered and at-risk species, and more.
They want the Province to consider real solutions that are enticing, financially, socially, culturally and environmentally. The valuable options are noted by experts including moving the almost $1M per day subsidies to conservation financing to support First Nations communities through carbon sequestration project, tourism enhancement, and even forest industry jobs with an evolution to proforestation
Marine Biologist Michael Coon (M.Sc), who lead the Land and Resource Management Planning Branch in the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management until 2003 noted in his comment of the Plan that, “our governments and industries no longer have the social license to focus on profits and privilege at the expense of the commons. The people expect natural resource businesses operating at the discretion of government (which in a democracy reflect and protect the public interest) to conduct their operations within the greater needs of the environment and our society. We cannot afford to ignore the limited carrying capacity of our environment.”
Several letters to Teal Cedar are found here:
UPDATE (Mar 3, 2022, 17:00 PST) – Additional letters here:
Dr. Penn’s comments were reported incorrectly. Researchers finding nests was changed to researchers discovering nesting behaviour. (Nests are so high up they are almost impossible to photograph or record.)