By Peter Wood for Sierra Club BC
BC’s Strategic Climate Risk Assessment identifies 15 climate risks, several of which have the potential to create catastrophic impacts for BC's communities. Overall, the assessment found that the greatest climate-related risks were severe wildfire, seasonal water shortage, and heat wave events. It also found that events such as severe river flooding were of “high consequence,” though less likely to occur.
There is a large body of scientific literature that documents the impact that industrial logging has on the severity and frequency of many of these events, yet the Assessment did not consider this information. This presents a major blind spot that could undermine the assessment’s findings and the effectiveness of the Province’s response in defending communities from worsening climate impacts.
This report attempts to address this gap in order to understand the role that forests
in B.C. can play in either mitigating or exacerbating those risks, depending on how we manage them. It finds that nine of these risks are substantially affected by forest management, some of which could have catastrophic consequences for the health and safety of local communities.