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BC NDP scoring poorly on management of forests: survey

Click to play video: 'Poll finds 85% support for old growth protection'
Poll finds 85% support for old growth protection
A new poll suggests most British Columbians are not happy with the way the BC NDP government is handling the issue of old-growth logging. The survey suggests strong support for protecting the trees, but as Paul Johnson reports, industry maintains there is a lot of misinformation about what's actually happening in the forests – Jun 3, 2021

A strong majority of British Columbians are concerned about the future of the province’s old-growth forests, a new survey has found.

According to the survey by Sierra Club BC and Insights West, 78 per cent of respondents are concerned about logging of old-growth forests in B.C. and 74 per cent support doubling protection of provincial lands, while 66 per cent oppose using whole trees to make wood pellets.

During last year’s provincial election, the BC NDP committed to act on an independent panel’s recommendations for managing the province’s old-growth forests. According to the survey, 85 per cent feel it is important that the BC NDP keeps its promises.

Just 16 per cent of respondents said the BC NDP government has done a good job in keeping this election promise, while 40 per cent think it has done a bad job.

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Click to play video: 'Hundreds protest logging rules on Vancouver Island'
Hundreds protest logging rules on Vancouver Island

“Forestry issues in British Columbia have recently taken a backseat to COVID-19 — like everything else these days — but there’s still huge concern about the destruction of our old-growth forests,” Insights West president Steve Mossop said.

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“Our polling shows that there is a high level of concern about the state of our forests in B.C. and the impact of industrial logging on our ecosystems and climate change, and the NDP is scoring poorly when it comes to the job they are doing on this file.”

B.C.’s approach to old-growth forest has come under scrutiny amid protests on Vancouver Island.

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More than 150 people have been arrested since RCMP began enforcing a British Columbia court injunction ordering the removal of blockades aimed at preventing old-growth logging on southwestern Vancouver Island.

Click to play video: 'Calls intensify for B.C. officials to manage ancient forests'
Calls intensify for B.C. officials to manage ancient forests

The Mounties said seven people were arrested Wednesday for breaching the injunction after officers found a large group blocking both directions of a forestry road in the Braden Creek area near Port Renfrew.

The injunction is to allow workers with the Teal-Jones Group to resume logging in that area and in the Fairy Creek watershed to the south.

Teal-Jones has said it plans to harvest about 20 hectares at the north ridge of the 1,200-hectare watershed out of 200 available for harvest.

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— With files from The Canadian Press

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