Petitioning Premier's Office Government of British Columbia

Stop spraying BC forests with herbicide to kill trees like poplar that wildlife need

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When a boreal forest regrows after logging, it is a paradise for wildlife like bees, moose, birds, and beavers, with a large selection of food including fireweed, poplar (aspen), birch, willow, grass, and many other plants that are critical to wildlife.  

However, to industrial forestry, only one type of tree has value- conifer trees like Lodgepole Pine.  

Utilizing helicopters equipped with spray nozzles and tanks of herbicides, companies spray these cutblocks 5-10 years after logging with industrial-strength glyphosate to kill every plant that isn't a conifer.  The effects are devastating and long-lasting, as a forest without aspen will support far fewer wildlife, and especially moose, than one with.

10,000 - 20,000 hectares of diverse forests are sprayed every year in BC, mostly aspen forests in the Prince George and Cariboo area.  That is enough forage to support 2500-5000 moose. 

The reason this is done is because in the Central Interior of British Columbia, like other places that spray, there is no factory that utilizes the "weed" trees that are killed by spraying.  There is no other reason.  

Without an industry to utilize the unwanted trees, the government designates these trees pests, and it then becomes legally necessary to eliminate these trees from the forest, along with the many creatures and animals that depend on them.  

The result is a monoculture forest of limited biodiversity and with little wildlife. 

This is not a a good enough reason to spray our forests with a toxic substance to kill a wide variety of critical wildlife shrubs and trees. Intelligent forestry should embrace the biodiversity that nature provides us with.  We should allow mixed forests with pine, fir, aspen, and birch.  This will benefit us as our climate changes and protect us against catastrophic losses.  Mixed forests are less vulnerable than monocultures.  They produce more timber, and utilize light and water more efficiently.  And they are better for wildlife.  There is no good reason why our forests are sprayed. 

 

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    Government of British Columbia

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