A call for changes to provincial forestry legislation will take to the streets in Vernon this coming Friday.
Environmental activists have organized a “forest march” that will begin in front of Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster’s office on 31st Avenue at 4 p.m. Sept. 18, before making a loop along 30th Avenue, 27th Street and 32nd Avenue.
The rally will be led by Eli Pivnick of Climate Action Now! and Huguette Allen, director of the Vernon-based Sustainable Environmental Network Society. The event’s focus is on current forestry practices that, in their view, intensify climate change, fire risks, flooding, loss of salmon stocks, the decline of populations of many woodland species and the loss of forestry-related and tourism jobs.
The specific calls to action associated with the march include:
- Forest management based on science, not politics
- Protection of the remaining three per cent of B.C.’s productive old-growth forest
- Prioritizing the health of ecosystems in forestry legislation
- Formal engagement with frontline communities in management of public lands
- Elimination of private corporation control over public lands
“Everyone is invited to join the march to show their concern for the disappearance of productive old growth forests and ask for change that will protect nature, communities, and jobs,” the organizers said in a press release.
Pivnick and Allen will begin the march by expanding on the legislative changes being requested of government. The demonstration is being held in conjunction with similar events across the province, according to Pivnick, who added he’s aware of 18 such events and counting.
COVID-19 precautions will be in effect at the rally, and maintaining physical distance and wearing masks is “highly encouraged.”