Deferring the harvest of old-growth trees near Revelstoke is a step in the right direction says Splatsin Kukpi7 (Chief) Wayne Christian.
Christian made this comment in response to BC Timber Sales’ decision to defer the harvest of 14 proposed cutblocks by Argonaut Creek near Revelstoke.
In a Dec. 9 media release from Splatsin, Christian, who is also chief of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, said “work must continue to protect the old-growth interior temperate rainforest and vital caribou habitat. We want to protect these areas long-term…”
According to Christian, other areas of concern are the Seymour, Blais and Ratchford drainages as they’re important for caribou habitat and ecosystem health and resilience. He noted those areas are important for food and medicine too.
“…Many areas in between the proposed deferred cutblocks… do not necessarily possess old-growth characteristics but provide vital habitat and connectivity for southern mountain caribou,” said Christian, adding he’d like to see the province, Canada, BC Hydro and others invest financial and planning resources towards caribou maternity pens.
Splatsin would like B.C.’s old-growth forest review to align with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the recommendations of the Gorley-Merkel Old Growth Strategic Review report, and to protect remaining old-growth forests that support critical southern mountain caribou habitat.