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Wildsight hosts webinar highlighting logging’s impact on climate change risk

Gov’s Strategic Climate Risk Assessment lacks impact of logging industry: expert
Several Peachland residents gathered to take a stand against clearcut logging to protect the community’s watershed. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)

On September 29, 2021 the conservation group Wildsight is hosting a free webinar with Dr. Peter Wood, following the release of the provincial government’s Strategic Climate Risk Assessment. Wildsight says the assessment lacks any mention of the impact of the logging industry on the projected climate change risks listed in the document.

The Strategic Climate Risk Assessment is a 427-page document that identifies 15 climate risks to communities around the province.

Environmental group Sierra Club BC hired Dr. Wood to analyze existing research in order to determine the logging industry’s impact on climate change and the risks it poses to B.C. communities.

“What we saw when we looked at some of the science that’s available is that more intensively managed landscapes — so the industrial forest landscapes of heavy clearcutting / replanting — tend to be more fire prone,” Wood said.

The “Save Forests; safe communities” webinar on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. MST will be a presentation of Wood’s findings, and Wildsight encourages anyone interested in forestry practices and the health of the province’s communities to join.

Wood has drawn his discoveries from around 120 scientific sources and has produced a report entitled: Intact Forests, Safe Communities.

According to Wildsight, he found that of the 15 climate risks highlighted in the Strategic Climate Risk Assessment, nine will be impacted by forest management practises.

“What he found was that we can reduce the risk of climate-related disasters in BC by reforming our current forestry practices,” read a Wildsight press release.

“Repercussions from logging go beyond summer wildfires too. Older forests act as moderating influences on the landscape, absorbing and releasing water more slowly, thereby reducing the risks of flooding and landslides.”

Wildsight adds logging can pose threats to community water supplies as well, due to companies turning more to forests that feed into these supplies as easily-accessible timber supplies dwindle.

In his report, Wood references Peachland, B.C., which recently had to spend $24 million on a water filtration plant after clearcutting practises damaged the natural filtration system that kept their water clean.

Wood’s research surmises that in order to protect B.C.’s remaining intact forests and in doing so mitigate increased climate risk, a “fundamental paradigm shift” is needed that places values like biodiversity and combating climate change ahead of profits.

You can register for the webinar here:


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About the Author: Paul Rodgers

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