100+ Luminaries Call for Protection of Old Growth Forests in British Columbia

Indigenous Leaders, Politicians, Scientists, Artists, Athletes, and Business Leaders Unite in Message to BC Premier

Vancouver, June 18, 2021 — Today more than one hundred prominent people from across Canadian society – plus a few international supporters – have come together to call for the immediate protection of all remaining iconic old-growth forests in British Columbia. Only 2.7% of large-tree old-growth forests remain in British Columbia, and despite recent small deferrals, these endangered forests are still being logged across the province, including in the Great Bear Rainforest.

The signatories to the letter include Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, The Rt Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, The Right Hon. Brian Mulroney, Michael Ondaatje, Dr. Suzanne Simard, Georges Laraque, Heather Reisman, The Hon. David Peterson, Olivia Chow, Stephen Lewis, Bryan Adams, Greta Thunberg, and more than one hundred others who are prominent in their fields.

“I can’t believe that after 40 years of talking about the need to conserve British Columbia’s iconic forests, we are still logging these massive trees,” said prominent author Wade Davis. “We need an economy that doesn’t come at the expense of these vital ecosystems. That’s why I’m standing alongside more than 120 other prominent luminaries to demand that Premier Horgan takes action to stop logging these irreplaceable forests and develop a 21st century economy.”

“The towering majestic trees of British Columbia are awe inspiring,” said Olivia Chow, former Member of Parliament. “For the future generations, including my grandchildren, we must protect all of the large old-growth forests immediately.”

“I have dedicated my career to studying these magnificent forests and can affirm that the immediate protection of the old-growth forests of British Columbia is absolutely urgent,” said prominent scientist Dr. Suzanne Simard. “Old-growth forests are essential hubs in vast interconnected networks. It is essential, for the health of the forest, and the health of our planet, that we do everything we can to keep them standing.”

The letter’s signatories span the political and cultural landscape with Indigenous leaders, a former Prime Minister, a former Governor General, former MP’s, Senators and Premiers, Olympians, Oscar/Grammy/Juno award winners, acclaimed writers, prominent business leaders and investors, NHL hockey players, scientists, and more adding their names to the push to protect these endangered ecosystems. The open letter will also run as a full-page ad in the Globe and Mail newspaper. The ad and letter is being coordinated by Canopy, a Canadian-based environmental organization dedicated to advancing forest solutions internationally.

“The calibre of signatories and breadth of perspectives represented in this ad underscores how important it is that we protect the incredible natural legacy found in British Columbia,” said Canopy’s executive director, Nicole Rycroft. “Science and the public imagination have converged; both know it’s time to stop the logging of BC’s old-growth forests. We don’t doubt that this will be challenging, but all of us understand ambitious conservation is necessary now.”

The letter reads:

Some things can’t be replaced.
British Columbia used to be the land of giants, with trees towering 250 feet tall.
For thousands of years, these forests have cleaned our air and water, nurtured species, stabilized the climate, and been stewarded by Indigenous Nations through the jurisdictional management of their traditional lands.
Today, logging continues even though less than 3% of these vital, old-growth forests remain.
Premier Horgan, protect the irreplaceable.

See the full list of signatories to the letter here.

Laura Repas, Canopy
+1 416-729-7484

Canopy is a solutions-driven not-for-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting forests, species, and climate. Canopy has worked with over 750 companies to guide them to more sustainable practices and to save the world’s integral forests. Canopy’s partners include H&M, LVMH, Target, Amazon, Penguin Random House, Zara, TC Transcontinental, and Uniqlo. www.canopyplanet.org