A group of around 25 people gathered in front of MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard’s office with signs emblazoned with phrases like “Save Old-Growth Forests.” Many had letters they were hoping to hand deliver to the MLA, expressing their concerns about the destruction of old-growth forests and asking for an immediate moratorium on the logging practice.
The group of concerned citizens came together as part of a province-wide initiative by Sierra Club BC, a provincial environmental advocacy group.
Galen Armstrong with Sierra Club BC helped organize the letter delivery and spoke about the need for change.
“The old-growth forests are an unrenewable resource and the government fully recognizes that and yet they’ve been completely dragging their feet,” said Armstrong. “We know that it’s not going to be much longer that we can have this debate and argument.”
While many communities rely on the forestry industry, Armstrong says the policy needs to be revisited.
“We all use wood and timber products, many communities rely on forestry, but how much longer can we rely on cutting old-growth forests,” he said. “We’re calling to preserve these critical hotspots, for the government to work with Indigenous communities in some of these areas on Vancouver Island but also to come up with a province-wide forest strategy that’s good for all of us.”
The group did not get a chance to hand deliver the letters to Leonard as the door was locked when the group arrived. Some left to mail their letters on their own while others left their letters in a box outside of the door.
Many, including Monica Hofer, expressed their disappointment that Leonard or a representative was not available to speak with them.
“I think they were elected to be our representatives and to listen to our concerns so they should be open,” said Hofer.
A request for comment has been sent to Leonard.