We’ve been greatly saddened to learn of the logging of old growth forest that’s been taking place, particularly at Nahmint River watershed and Fairy Creek on unceded Pacheedaht First Nation territory on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in Canada. Natural Pod is strongly against such practises, and stands with the The Ancient Forest Alliance; a non-profit organization working to protect British Columbia’s endangered old-growth forests and to ensure sustainable, second-growth forestry jobs.
Being a company that makes wooden furniture products we only support forestry that’s sustainable, environmentally responsible and replenishable. These values have existed from the inception of Natural Pod, they are built into our DNA. All our furniture products are made using certified Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC® C012337) wood materials. To reach FSC certification you must adhere to ten rules that cover the essentials of responsible forest management. These rules apply worldwide, across all ecosystems and cultural, political, and legal systems, with specific guidance provided for local interpretation. You can learn much more here about FSC wood materials and why we use them to ensure our furniture is sustainable and environmentally and socially responsible.
To expand on why as a company we are so opposed to the logging of old growth forests, let’s look at why they are being logged, and why it matters.
Old growth trees vary in size and age, but the province defines coastal forests to be old growth if they contain trees that are more than 250 years old. Wood from old growth trees is often desired for high-end and specialty products such as fine furniture, musical instruments, specialty finishing products and shake and shingle manufacturing.
Regardless of how desirable these trees might be to certain markets, the reasons why logging them is a problem is as conservation groups like the Ancient Forest Alliance have argued; old growth trees in the areas where the trees grow biggest are being cut down at an unsustainable rate. And this conclusion was reached using all provincial data to uncover this situation. As well, a panel of independent scientists produced the report, ‘BC’s Old Growth Forest: A Last Stand for Biodiversity’ in June 2020 which used provincial data to show that the oldest trees in B.C. in some of the most lush, biodiverse forests were on the brink of extinction. Forests with old growth trees in them are often rich in biodiversity — which means they support many other animal and plant species, including some which cannot live in any other type of habitat.
“These ecosystems are effectively the white rhino of old growth forests,” the report said. “They are almost extinct and will not recover from logging.”
Conservationists also argue that intact forests with old growth trees in them will help protect the province from future climate change disasters. These forests have dense canopies, thick tough bark, extensive root systems and space between them, which helps prevent the spread of forest fires, landslides, and flooding — along with protecting water sources. Even old growth trees that die and fall to the ground and rot help the remaining forest around it by providing nutrients and habitat for other species.
Recently another strategic review commissioned by the province has been created, ‘A new future for old growth forests’, which highlights the urgent need to stop looking at B.C.’s forests as timber supply and start prioritizing Indigenous Rights, and ecological and cultural values. These trees have great cultural significance for First Nations people who for thousands of years have used trees such as cedar for shelter, canoes, clothes, baskets and other tools as well as for ceremonial objects and regalia. And during those thousands of years the Indigenous People utilized the trees in sustainable and responsible ways while also protecting the forests, allowing them to flourish.
This symbiotic relationship with the old growth forests is what we’d like to see continue. Good forestry management means logging can be achieved in an environmental and socially responsible way while supporting many second growth forestry jobs. This is why we support the Ancient Forest Alliance and the great work they do.
Natural Pod is making a donation to the Ancient Forest Alliance of $1,000. If you would also like to donate to this non-profit organization working to protect BC’s endangered old-growth forests and to ensure sustainable, second-growth forestry jobs, please find the link here.