Targets: British Columbia Minister of Environment Mary Polak & Minister of Forest, Lands, and Natural Resources Steve Thomson
Goal: Demand stronger legal protections for at-risk species of plants and animals
The British Columbia Supreme Court recently ruled that the government is not required under the Forest and Range Practices Act to protect the region’s endangered coastal Douglas fir ecosystems or other at-risk species. The ruling came after environmental groups sued the government for failure to enforce the law and protect the region’s decimated old-growth coastal Douglas fir forests. Government documents estimate that less than 1% of the area’s once abundant old-growth coastal Douglas firs remain following years of destructive logging.
British Columbia is the most ecologically diverse province in Canada, and claims to be a leader in sustainable forest management. Most of Canada’s bird and fish varieties can be found in British Columbia where more than 1,900 plant and animal species are currently at-risk. The vast majority–87%–of these are not protected under provincial or federal laws.
Currently laws that concern wildlife and environmental protection are scattered through various pieces of legislation, rather than in a specific law to effectively protect and recuperate endangered and at-risk species. The Forest and Range Practices Act includes requirements for soil conservation, replacing trees destroyed by logging, and protecting fish, wildlife and their habitats. It also includes specifications regarding construction, maintenance and deactivation of forest roads. According to the previously mentioned ruling, however, gaps in the legislation make it so officials have no legal duty to enforce these laws leaving many forest and wildlife species at risk.
It is necessary to replace the current, inadequate legislation with a new law specially focused on the conservation of at-risk species. Call on government officials to do so to more effectively protect and preserve this Canadian province’s precious plants and animals.
Dear Minister Polak & Minister Thomson,
Inadequate legislation is a major issue threatening the conservation of British Columbia’s precious forests and wildlife. As you may know, more than 1,900 species in the region are currently at-risk. This is likely due to the fact that 87% of these species are not protected under provincial or federal laws. The current system in which laws that concern wildlife and environmental protection are scattered through pieces of legislation, rather than a specific law focused on the protection and recuperation of endangered and at-risk species, is not providing adequate protection.
Tree populations and wildlife habitats that were once abundant throughout the region have been almost completely wiped out. Please help preserve the province’s diverse forest and wildlife populations by designing specific legislation focused on protecting at-risk species.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: RestfulC401 via Wikimedia Commons