BCs Inland Rainforest Conservation and Community

Conference Proceedings


The Inland Temperate Rainforest In An Uncertain Future: Who Is Protecting Who?


Candice Batycki 1

The forest conservation movement in BC has evolved over the years. Advocates have relied on scientific information to greater and lesser extents in informing and supporting conservation agendas. Personal motivations have, and continue to, range from scenic and recreational, to ethical approaches based on respect for species and ecosystems, to a desire to maintain multiple-scale biodiversity, to simple moral outrage associated with turning 1000 year old ecosystems into toilet paper.

Today, climate change is upon us and BC is predicted to face higher than global average temperate and precipitation increases. Over the last 100 years, the temperate has already increased 1.10C, with another 3 - 80 predicted over the next century. During the same timeframe significant parts of the lower mainland are predicted to submerge. Issues of intergenerational justice are emerging stronger than ever, even as diverse groups of individuals and sectors struggle with devising appropriate ways to both mitigate and adapt to climate change.

How should those concerned with forest conservation respond to this new challenge? What is the role of old-growth forests in climate change mitigation and adaptation, and what kinds of questions should we ask ourselves as we look to the future? This poster focuses on forests of the Inland Temperate Rainforest and climate change. It examines key things that we know and key uncertainties around climate change mitigation and adaptation. Do we know enough to identify appropriate new actions, or alternatively, to avoid inappropriate ones? What does the precautionary principle look like when applied to this new situation? Finally, we ask whether we can identify the specific forests we should be protecting today, so that forests can (we hope) continue to protect us, tomorrow, and propose some approaches for doing so.

Contact Information


1 Director of Forest Programs, ForestEthics, 523 Cedar Street, Nelson, BC V1L 2C2. Email: candace@forestethics.org

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"Treebeard" (above) is portrayed courtesy of McBride artist Sheilagh Foster.

 
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