An Open Letter to Minister Katrine Conroy & Premier John Horgan, By Eartha Muirhead

Fairy Creek old growth

Dear Minister Katrine Conroy and Premier John Horgan:

I am a retired psychotherapist trying to save the few last remaining old-growth forests on Vancouver Island. There are so many reasons to stop destroying ancient forests. To name a few: the sequestering of carbon to mitigate climate change, to uphold UNDRIP and show respect for Indigenous land rights on whose land the forests are on, the protection of at-risk species and now the prevention of viral pandemics.

Fairy Creek old growthDeforestation and the spread of viruses are now becoming public knowledge, and yet BC Timber Sales has endorsed the destruction of 177 old-growth forests in 2020. Three thousand year old yellow cedars, in TFL 46, in the areas around Fairy Creek, in river valleys held sacred by the Pacheedaht Peoples are now at risk with last week’s injunction by Teal-Jones. These crimes against nature and future generations must stop now.

The German Federal Environment Minister has been quoted as saying: “Science tells us that the destruction of ecosystems makes disease outbreaks including pandemics more likely. It is well documented that around 70% of human pathogens originate form fauna, including Lyme Disease, HIV, Ebola, MERS, SARS and influenza.” Sandra Junglen, head of the Ecology of Emerging Arboviruses, has been quoted as saying the same thing. “The emergence of multiple diseases can be explained by human encroachment into untouched nature…clearing of forests least  to biodiversity loss, which changes the composition of mammal populations.”

In light of all the Old-Growth ecosystems lost since the NDP took power, and the recent Teal-Jones’ application to shut down blockades around Fairy Creek, I implore you to implement the Old-Growth review Panel’s recommendations that urge the ban of logging all old-growth forests.