Ecosystem must be protected

A death of an ecosystem is everyone's death.

To the Editor,

To a rare and endangered bird, flower, amphibian, or mammal, whether you nest high in the canopy or are a microscopic component of the soil that nurtures the giant trees that produce the canopy, the death of an ecosystem is your death.

It doesn’t matter to a marbled murrelet whether the company that wields the chainsaw is trying to improve the social conditions of an impoverished community or feed the shareholders of a multi-billion dollar corporation, extinction is forever.

District Lot 33 on Vancouver Island is home to a tiny forest that is a remnant specimen of the red-listed coastal Douglas fir ecosystem.

This unique community of plants and animals is classified critically endangered and globally imperiled. There is less than one per cent of this majestic old growth forest left on Earth.

A battle has commenced on DL33 between local communities and the government of British Columbia to shut down the chainsaws that are tearing into the heart of this tiny refugia.

Both B.C. and Canada, as signatories to the international convention on biological diversity, are in violation of their obligations to protect endangered ecosystems and to help stem the tide of species extinction that are estimated to be over 1,000 times what would be expected in nature.

A further black eye to Canada’s reputation is that DL33 resides in a UNESCO designated biosphere reserve, special areas set aside for the protection of biological diversity and to be models of sustainability.

The pleas of concerned scientists, the Nanaimo Regional District, all the communities up and down Vancouver Island, and the NDP, the official Opposition in the B.C. legislature, to do the right thing and protect this precious piece of Crown land have fallen on deaf ears.

Once again it is up to a tiny group of activists to risk arrest and financial ruin and stand up to this suicide cult of twisted economic priorities.

Phil Carson

Qualicum Beach

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