1 forests & land use | West Coast Environmental Law

banner_justice.jpg

forests & land use

Celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday with a Deep Blue Sea Legacy: Nominating New Canadian Marine World Heritage Sites

25 August, 2016

Next year Canada turns 150. What better present than a gift to the future: preservation of our outstanding heritage sites?  

Parks Canada is leading a new public process to nominate more Canadian sites to the World Heritage List just in time for our birthday celebrations. From Coast Salish clam gardens to endangered whales’ feeding grounds, Pacific coastal waters are home to countless areas worthy of protection as World Heritage Sites.  Have your say on what gets protected on the List, and consider proposing irreplaceable marine sites to be recognized as part of our natural heritage treasure vault.

 

 

 

Next year Canada turns 150. What better present than a gift to the future: preservation of our outstanding heritage sites?  

Water win against logging giant leaves many unanswered questions

21 September, 2015

Even though water has been at the heart of logging conflicts in BC for many years, it is very rare that logging companies are actually made to pay financially when they harm watercourses.  That’s why a rare out-of-court settlement announced this past week between logging giant, Tolko Industries, and Chilcotin Rancher, Randy Saugstad, is good news.  But it also raises questions about why a rancher should have to fight for 6 years for compensation for harm to his water, and why logging companies so rarely need to pay when they harm water sources.

Even though water has been at the heart of logging conflicts in BC for many years, it is very rare that logging companies are actually made to pay financially when they harm watercourses.  That’s why a rare out-of-court settlement announced this past week between logging giant, Tolko Industries, and Chilcotin Rancher, Randy Saugstad, is good news.  But it also raises questions about why a rancher should have to fight for 6 years for compensation for harm to his water, and why logging companies so rarely need to pay when they harm water sources. 

Auditor General Releases Report on Failing Cumulative Effects Management Practices in BC

17 June, 2015

The Auditor General has released a report criticizing  the province’s failure to adequately manage the cumulative impacts of resource development in BC.  

On May 26, 2015 British Columbia’s Auditor General Carol Bellringer released her report on “Managing the Cumulative Effects of Natural Resource Development in BC.”  The report found that the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FNLRO) is not effectively considering or addressing cumulative effects in its decision-making in northwestern BC.  As we stated in our

Foresters, biologists, planners take on the “fundamental impacts” of Climate Change

8 July, 2014

Governments and businesses rely heavily on the advice of professionals on a wide range of environmental, resource management and land use planning decisions. That’s why it’s critical that the professionals who are making key decisions about our ecosystems and the evolution of our communities know about current climate science, and incorporate it into their recommendations to government and industry.
West Coast Environmental Law is excited that four BC professional associations – representing 9,000 foresters, biologists and planners – are showing the way – today (July 8th) publicly releasing an unprecedented “Professional Leadership in a Changing Climate: Joint Statement”.

Governments and businesses rely heavily on the advice of professionals on a wide range of environmental, resource management and land use planning decisions. That’s why it’s critical that the professionals who are making key decisions about our ecosystems and the evolution of our communities know about current climate science, and incorporate it into their recommendations to government and industry.

Weakening BC’s environmental laws risks eroding social licence for Government’s Cleanest LNG goals

17 June, 2014

Several of the most contentious changes to environmental laws passed during the 2014 spring session of the BC Legislature seem to have been developed, and pushed through, in a mad rush and without adequate public consultation. The goal of these laws seems, at least in part, to be to remove perceived environmental constraints on certain types of development – notably natural gas exploration, development and export. Such laws erode environmental legal safeguards, and in turn reduce public confidence in BC’s environmental safety net. This will ultimately hurt the government’s desire to push through quick LNG development. 

Poll after poll say that British Columbians favour strong environmental laws – laws that don’t trade our environment off against short-term economic gains. As a result, when governments try to weaken environmental laws in the name of growth, it often backfires, with development proposals losing the social licence that they need, and becoming caught up in public controversy.

Should Chevron pay for the Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic?

22 May, 2014

The Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic – a direct result of climate change – has cost British Columbia billions in lost timber value alone - a reality that has influenced the public consciousness of British Columbians about the cost of climate change. Public awareness that climate change is costing us here and now may finally drive real climate action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and raise questions about whether Greenhouse Gas polluters - like Chevron - should pay for the damages that they cause. But for that to happen journalism needs to be responsible in how it covers the growing scientific certainty about the links between climate change and present-day, real-world climate impacts.

According to the BC Government, the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic – a direct result of climate change – cost British Columbia billions in lost timber value alone – not counting environmental and other damages.

Say “no” to increased corporate control of our forests

21 May, 2014

Say “no” to increased corporate control of our forests

Thank you to everyone who submitted their comments to the provincial government’s area based forest tenure consultation, which closed on May 30, 2014. Over 1200 people sent their comments in through our website!  To learn more, see West Coast's Environmental Law Alert, Logging rights consultation fails to ask the big questions.

[Updated 30 May 2014 - After the close of public consultations]

Say “no” to increased corporate control of our forests

Site C dam: The best option for new energy BC doesn’t need

20 May, 2014

The environmental assessment panel's reviewing BC Hydro’s proposed Site C dam on the Peace River was clear: Site C would have significant environmental and social consequences that would be unfairly borne by locals, those costs could only be justified by an unambiguous need for its power, and BC Hydro has failed to prove that we need that energy, at least not on the timelines it proposed.

Photo credit Graham Osborne

On May 7th, the Joint Review Panel considering BC Hydro’s proposed Site C dam on the Peace River issued its final report.

Environmental organizations reject proposed B.C. forest giveaway, call for coherent action plan

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

VANCOUVER. Leading environmental organizations are rejecting the British Columbia government proposal for forest tenure change that would increase the amount of land under the control of logging companies in the form of Tree Farm Licences.

Bill 24 – Agricultural Land Commission Amendment Act: Undermining BC’s food security

10 April, 2014

Following hot on the heels of the controversial Park Amendment Act (Bill 4), the BC government has introduced another bill that would open up some of the province’s most publicly valuable lands – in this case, its farmlands – to industrial development. Bill 24, the Agricultural Land Commission Amendment Act, weakens legal protection on some of the best of BC's scarce agricultural lands. If passed, Bill 24 would allow decision makers to prioritize short-term gains over the long-term goal of protecting farmland and food security for most of the province’s ALR lands.

Read on to learn more, or you can use our handy on-line letter to tell the BC government: hands off our food security

Following hot on the heels of the controversial Park Amendment Act (Bill 4), the BC government has introduced another bill that would open up some of the province’s most publicly valuable lands – in this case, its farmlands – to industrial development.

Syndicate content