BC Needs Species Protection
spotted owls remain in wild
Released by Gwen Barlee, Wilderness Committee
a recent newsletter from BC's Coast Forest Products Association, the timber
lobby group claims the industry has had a decade of "success" in protecting
species at risk, such as the critically endangered Northern spotted owl.
"Our success in BC in protecting species like marbled murrelets, spotted
owls, Vancouver Island marmots, northern goshawks, tailed frogs, Grizzly
bears and others is evidence that populations of species at risk can be
managed well without disabling huge tracts of land," read the newsletter.
The statements were included in the Fall 2012 publication distributed by the
lobby group, which recommended "improvements" to the federal Species at Risk
Act. The Association suggested that the federal government follow the
example of BC in protecting species at risk by championing voluntary
measures and best management practices instead of a prescriptive law.
"Saying that the spotted owl is an example of good forest stewardship is
like saying a heart attack is an example of a healthy diet," said Gwen
Barlee, policy director with the Wilderness Committee.
"Scientists acknowledge that the spotted owl is hovering on the brink of
extinction in Canada because of poor forestry practices. It is a well-known
fact that forestry companies target the same old-growth forests these owls
need to survive."
British Columbia is one of two provinces with no endangered species
legislation, and it is home to 1,900 species at risk. BC has been heavily
criticized by the environmental community for having no endangered species
legislation, instead relying on a patchwork of weak regulations and
Scientists estimate there are just 12 spotted owls left in the wild in BC –
the only place they are found in Canada. Historically, BC was home to about
500 breeding pairs of spotted owls.
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Copyright (c) 2012 The Valley Voice