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Lantzville councillors add their voices in opposition to old-growth logging

District council unanimously passes motion calling for province to defer logging at-risk old-growth
A woodlot in Lantzville. District council voted unanimously this week for the municipality to formally oppose logging of at-risk old-growth forests and to ask the province to defer logging in those areas. (News Bulletin file photo)

The District of Lantzville was quick to add its support to a call to pause logging of at-risk old-growth forests in B.C.

Two days after Nanaimo city council voted in favour of Coun. Ben Geselbracht’s motion to formally oppose logging of at-risk old-growth forests, Lantzville Coun. Will Geselbracht, who is Ben’s father, brought the same motion to the neighbouring municipality’s council table, where it passed unanimously.

The motion calls on the province to defer logging in at-risk old-growth forests until the recommendations from B.C.’s old-growth strategic review have been implemented, fund a transition to new forest practices, and ask for the issue to be further discussed with other local governments. None of the old-growth forests specifically mentioned in the motion are within the District of Lantzville.

“As a result of the growing public protests, it’s time to weigh in to request the provincial government take a sober second look at old-growth logging,” Will Geselbracht said at the Lantzville council meeting Wednesday, March 31.

He said he recently visited Fairy Creek and toured a stand of old-growth yellow cedar.

“You can’t see the tops and it’s a humbling experience and it’s a piece of our heritage that we want preserved,” he said.

He stressed that his motion “is not against logging in general,” but a request to preserve a small percentage of B.C.’s forests.

Coun. Karen Proctor said the cause is dear to her and her family, and Coun. Ian Savage was also supportive of the motion, saying it would hopefully help send a message that people on B.C.’s coast and beyond are against logging old-growth.

“There’s a certain aspect to old-growth that’s irreplaceable. It’s got a spiritual quality, it’s got a diversity and so on that takes a long time to grow,” Savage said. “The least we can do for the next generation is pass on the heritage of what’s left.”

Mayor Mark Swain said he’s interested in protecting natural assets, whether in Lantzville or elsewhere, but said he had some reluctance supporting the motion because “there is a definite other side” to the issue and cautioned that district council should be careful about getting involved in provincial politics.

The vote was 5-0 as Coun. Jamie Wilson also voted in favour of the motion.

READ ALSO: Fairy Creek blockades must go, B.C. Supreme Court rules

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