The B.C. government is protecting more Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem land from logging near Bowser, Qualicum Beach, Nanoose Bay and elsewhere on the coast.
That makes the total of Costal Douglas-fir ecosystem now protected from logging to more than 11,000 hectares, according to an announcement from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural resource Operations and Rural Development made Friday, July 20.
Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and MLA for Mid Island Pacific Rim, said in a news release that the Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem is rare and not much of it is on public land.
“I’m glad that our government has protected more of this precious ecosystem for conservation. Many endangered plant species grow within these newly protected lands, and it’s good to know they will flourish in the future.
Fraser added that both the Snaw-Naw-As and Qualicum first nations were consulted.
In the announcement, the ministry explains that, “The Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem is ranked both globally and provincially as a high priority for preservation, and is home to many endangered plant communities.
“Of the global range of Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems, 80 per cent occur in the southern Strait of Georgia area,” reads the announcement. Of the ecosystem found in B.C., nine per cent is provincially owned.
The new protection for the additional land comes after consultation with 19 First Nations on the proposal, and the proposal was advertised for public review and comment from Nov. 2017 to Jan. 2018, said the ministry.
Out of the more than 1,078 submissions received, 98 per cent were supportive of the proposal.
“The protection has legal authority by way of amendment to the Coastal Douglas-fir Order under the Land Act. Under the Coastal Douglas-fir land-use order, the protected lands are managed for enhanced stewardship and conservation,” reads the release.
Other areas that see increased protection for Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem from this announcement are Cedar on Vancouver Island, and on Galiano and Salt Spring islands.
— News staff B.C. Government