Statement re: Old Growth

Originally posted by Bowinn Ma to Facebook on May 28, 2021 at 10:29am.


Yes — I fully support the protection of old growth, with urgency.

I know that people are feeling angry and disappointed, so this post will likely generate a lot of intense responses. However, I have always endeavored to not shy away from difficult conversations on issues that matter to my community. It’s become clear to me that this is one of those issues that community members want to see me engage in, not only in correspondence and in the work that I do, but publicly as well.

Although the forestry sector is not an area that I have great depth of knowledge in, I have been deliberate about doing the work needed to learn and to become a more effective advocate and problem-solver on this issue on behalf of community members. I have more work to do, but want you to know that I hear and understand your concerns.

These old growth trees are our elders. They were here long before we arrived and, if given the chance, will be here long after we leave. While they live, they support important biodiversity, enable healthy ecosystems, take in carbon from the atmosphere, and are simply magnificent to behold. Our children and grandchildren deserve these benefits as well. Once cut down, however, they cannot be replaced within our lifetimes or even multiple lifetimes.

The families and communities that are supported by jobs enabled by the forestry sector are also made up of real people who are doing their best to put food on the table and keep a roof over their children’s heads. They too deserve to know that healthy forests will be there for them well into the future. A sustainable approach that emphasizes value over volume and preserves that which cannot be readily renewed is also critical for those who depend on this sector to provide for their families.

It’s clear that the old way of forest management needs to change. Some important progress has been made already, such as finally protecting all of the remaining old growth at Clayoquot Sound, changes to legislation that enable better forest management, and more. However, this is not enough. I know that my colleagues, including the Minister, agree that more needs to be done.

I am immensely grateful to everyone who’s taken the time to reach out and let me know that you support making this work a priority. I’m committed to doing my part in this as your local MLA and will provide updates on this work as they become available.