Groups warn that old growth forest logging is (literally) putting B.C.’s bears on the shelf

Who: The Only Animal and The Living Forest Institute, with One Twenty Three West.

What: A social and out-of-home campaign alerting British Columbians to the fact that the continued logging of old-growth forests is having a negative effect on the province’s black bear population.

When & Where: The campaign launched this week across social and out-of-home.

Why: The campaign is intended to alert B.C. residents of the detrimental impact that logging the province old growth forests is having on the black bear population. Old-growth forests contain trees that can be up to 3,000 years old and are bears’ preferred habitats. B.C. is home to between 120,000 and 150,000 black bears, representing roughly one-quarter of Canada’s black bear population.

The B.C. government said last year that it plans to protect 353,000 hectares of old growth forest in nine areas, but groups like the Sierra Club have estimated that more than 140,000 hectares of old growth forests are being logged each year along the coast and the interior.

How: The ads feature visually arresting images of bears in the shape of household furniture such as tables, chairs and bookshelves. The images are accompanied by text reading “We’re logging more than old growth trees.” Another series of posts features furniture made with wood from both old growth and new growth forests to underscore that there is no discernible difference.

And we quote: “We believe there’s a sustainable way to log—by using second-growth, tree farm timber, and there is plenty of that to be had in BC. We don’t have to eliminate 3,000 year-old ecosystems and the wildlife that lives there. When we cut down old growth forests, we take away the irreplaceable denning habitat for black bears. It is a death sentence for the species and a loss for ours as well.” — Kendra Fanconi, artistic director The Only Animal

Chris Powell