Islander’s complaint upheld by Forest Practices Board

  • Aug. 1, 2008 9:00 a.m.

The Forest Practices Board has upheld a Sierra Club BC complaint that the endangered northern goshawk’s habitat is under threat from logging on the Queen Charlottes. “The board’s recommendations fully support our concerns about the destruction of goshawk foraging habitat,” said Jacques Morin, a biologist and chair of Sierra Club Haida Gwaii. Mr. Morin filed the complaint in September 2006, after the Forest Practices Board urged cautious management of northern goshawk habitat on the Charlottes to ensure the hawk’s long-term survival. In the final report released August 1, the board agreed with Sierra Club BC that “there are no interim measures in place to conserve or protect foraging habitat” pending the release of an action plan from the federal goshawk recovery team.Goshawks are large hawks that rely on mature forests for nesting. The Haida Gwaii subspecies is nationally listed as “threatened”, which means that its immediate nesting territories are protected. However, the Haida Gwaii goshawk subspecies requires large tracts of foraging habitat that is not protected under either provincial or federal legislation. Scientists say that without swift action the Haida Gwaii goshawk could become extirpated within 10 years because the population is genetically isolated.In February 2005 the province said its goal was to lead the world in sustainable environmental management. Today’s report demonstrates that three years later, endangered species in BC continue to be at risk. “This case underscores the need for BC to follow Ontario’s example and pass stand-alone legislation to protect endangered species,” said Sierra Club BC Director of Campaigns Susan Howatt. “BC is at the back of the Canadian pack when it comes to protecting at-risk species like the northern goshawk.”

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