Today, sister outlets The Discourse and IndigiNews launch Forests for the Future, a series of stories about local solutions for British Columbia forests. Over the next three weeks, our teams, located on Vancouver Island and the Okanagan, will showcase what’s working and what a brighter future might look like for forests and the communities that depend on them.
This is an incredible moment of opportunity for B.C. forests. The deadly storms, wildfires, drought and heat waves of 2021 bring new urgency to conversations around the role of forests in protecting our communities. The ongoing blockades at Fairy Creek continue to expose deep fault lines in our existing forest management system. Meanwhile, the provincial government has promised to overhaul legislation in favour of rules that put First Nations partnerships and ecosystem health first.
On much of Vancouver Island, the history of sweeping land privatization continues to frustrate forest-based preservation, recreation and the journey to reconciliation, among others. But big opportunities exist outside of so-called Crown lands, too. The Municipality of North Cowichan is currently consulting with Quw’utsun Nation and the public on alternatives for its municipal forest land, equivalent in size to 12 Stanley Parks. Community members on the West Shore are campaigning to acquire a 101-acre parcel of land that is up for sale and is part of the rare Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem.
The series will point to the innovators and the changemakers. We’ll tell deeply local stories that illuminate a bigger picture. We’ll show how Indigenous knowledge and partnerships could lead to healthier forests and forestry communities.
As with all our work, this series is deeply informed by the communities we report in. Earlier this year we surveyed our audiences to draw on its deep well of knowledge and expertise.
You told us about your bold visions for the future, where healthy forests support healthy, vibrant communities. We heard from you about the innovators in this space, including some First Nations, community forest groups, advocacy organizations and others.
With your input as our foundation, we are ready to roll out comprehensive, impactful reporting about the future of B.C. forests.
Stay in the loop
The stories in the series will live on the Forests for the Future homepage.
Support this work
Businesses and organizations interested in partnering on this work can reach out to Ramona at [email protected]