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Old-growth logging, road building can proceed in B.C. without First Nation consent, says memo – Vancouver Is Awesome

September 14, 2023

A May 2023 memo from BC Timber Sales gives direction for logging to proceed in certain old-growth forests where First Nations haven’t responded or where road building elsewhere is deemed not economically feasible.

The B.C. government-run corporation responsible for auctioning off 20 per cent of the province’s annual allowable cut gave a green light to companies looking to log certain old-growth forests slated for deferral, documents show.

In a BC Timber Sales (BCTS) memorandum dated May 15, 2023, BCTS told industry that in cases where First Nations said they needed more time or hadn’t responded to proposed old-growth deferrals, “Ancient” and “Priority Big-treed” forests should be deemed “available for harvest.”

The guidance memo also tells logging companies they can build roads through old-growth areas identified for deferral if there is no alternative route available that is “practical and reasonably economically feasible.”

“That scares me,” said Spô’zêm First Nation chief James Hobart after reviewing the memo. “Our expectation is that they were not going to log as the talks were going on.”

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