In response to UBCM Resolution C-27, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson re-affirmed government’s commitment to Vancouver Island’s old growth forests and stated there was no need to cease logging. The province’s old growth forests, including those on Vancouver Island, are managed for a multitude of resource values. There’s approximately 1.9 million hectares of Crown forest land on Vancouver Island, and over 840,000 hectares of that is considered old-growth. Over half of those old growth forests will never be logged.
The Vancouver Island Land Use Plan designated areas for protection and areas suitable for resource development, including forestry. Over 13% of Vancouver Island’s land base is fully protected from development.
The Province sets aside old growth forest areas in recognition of their biodiversity values, including providing habitat for wildlife. The Province targets protection of old growth forests in each landscape unit. In addition to parks and protected areas, old growth forests are protected through old growth management areas, wildlife habitat areas, ungulate winter ranges.
Some Vancouver Island communities value old growth forests for their tourism values, and in 2012, the Province specifically established an old growth management area for Avatar Grove near Port Renfrew.