Wildsight works to influence forestry planning and practices in our region so that both humans and nature can thrive.
Wildsight works actively with all of the large forestry companies in the East Kootenay. During the planning process, we push to minimize environmental impacts, preserve biodiversity and protect critical habitat and movement corridors for wildlife. On the ground, we make sure logging takes place with as little impact as possible, especially expanding riparian buffers around creeks, preserving wildlife connectivity and protecting wildlife tree patches. Wildsight works in priority conservation areas like the Flathead, the Southern Rockies and the Central Purcells to protect our wildlife, clean water and wilderness.
With your support, Wildsight played a major role in creating a precedent-setting model for sustainable use of our forests. Together, we helped to create the only independent worldwide certification (FSC) recognized by both the marketplace and the environmental community. We helped raise forestry standards and practices to sustainable levels, and protected hundreds of thousands of hectares of endangered and High Conservation Value forest.
Our Forestry team meets regularly with foresters, biologists and executives as well as operators on the ground from companies such as Canfor, Galloway, BCTS and Canwel. And we take the lessons we learn on the ground into meetings with government and industry leaders to help shape regional and provincial forest policy.
While some forestry standards in the East Kootenay have improved, at least on crown land, our wildlife populations, wilderness and ecosystems are still under constant threat. We’re still a long way from truly sustainable forestry.
The annual allowable cut must be lowered to levels that protect short, mid, and long term timber supply. Remaining intact and untouched valleys must be left wild. The East Kootenay’s Ungulate Winter Range guidelines need to be re-evaluated in order to provide the best ungulate habitat and long term ecosystem diversity. On the provincial level, we need stronger forest policy and standards that our ecosystems, our wildlife and our mills can handle in the long term.
If we focus on keeping our ecosystems functional across the landscape, our forests and the wildlife they support would be in much better shape. It will take a lot more work and cooperation between forestry companies, government ministries, the public and organizations such as Wildsight, but we believe we can get there.