The Squamish Nation has asked the B.C. government to defer old-growth logging for two years while the nation develops a long-term sustainability plan.
The nation says 78,000 hectares of its old-growth forest are at risk unless the province immediately halts new clear cuts.
“These forests belong to the Squamish People and were never ceded,” it said in a release.
“The B.C. government has failed to take immediate steps to implement the urgent recommendations of the Old Growth Strategic Review panel, and the Squamish Nation calls on the province to act on its comments and concerns.”
This request comes on the heels of Wednesday’s news that the government is deferring the harvesting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek and the Central Walbran Valley for two years.
The Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations asked the government to defer old-growth logging for two years in the areas of Vancouver Island while the nations prepare formal forestry plans.
This includes protecting about 2,000 hectares of forest from logging.
The Squamish Nation said it has identified at least 20 cut blocks within Squamish Nation territory with old-growth logging activities proposed in the next five years. These forests are all within 150 kilometres of Vancouver, and house intact ecosystems that have regenerated naturally under Squamish Nation stewardship since time immemorial, according to the organization.
“This call requires the province to take meaningful action toward honouring its commitments regarding old-growth forest management, including the implementation of immediate logging deferrals and enabling the full participation of Indigenous Nations in these processes,” Squamish First Nation spokesperson Khelsilem said in a release.
On Wednesday, Premier John Horgan said “we are doing things differently in British Columbia. This is not your grandparents’ forestry industry. It is your grandchildren’s forestry industry if we do this properly.”
-with files from Richard Zussman