People advocating for ancient forests and the animals reliant on them - Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative

People advocating for ancient forests and the animals reliant on them

A person standing at the base (left side) of a massive old growth tree, looking up forward the green forest canopy
Standing in British Columbia's inland temperate rainforest (Credit: Katrina Bellefeuille)

Take a stand (for good) in British Columbia’s old-growth forests

Vicky Husband, one of B.C.’s best-known environmentalists (Carla Funk)

“The air we breathe, water we drink and land we live on…we have to protect it. We have to take a stand.”

That’s according to Vicky Husband — one of B.C.’s best-known environmentalists, and a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia.

“Years ago, I realized the importance of our old growth and the critical habitat it provides for so many wildlife. From grizzly bears, to the salmon and the rivers — it’s all connected,” she explains.

As a donor and advocate, Vicky has long supported Y2Y’s work to protect caribou habitat, oppose the Site C Dam, advocate for Indigenous-led conservation, and ensure that the magnificent inland temperate rainforest of southeastern B.C. stays standing. Like you, she knows protecting old growth benefits all species, including people.

Protecting old growth is healthy for humans and nature

Old-growth forests provide food, water, medicines, recreation and tourism opportunities, among other resources. They also store carbon and produce clean air to fill our lungs. These forests and the life within them fulfill cultural and spiritual needs for communities, including Indigenous Peoples.

“The air we breathe, water we drink and land we live on…we have to protect it. We have to take a stand.”

Vicky Husband, Y2Y donor and supporter

Species such as the iconic mountain caribou also depend on these spectacular ecosystems as habitat and for seasonal food sources such as lichen. Caribou have been crucial for many First Nations since time immemorial, for cultural reasons as well as those related to health and food security.

A caribou reaches for the lichen that grows on trees in the inland temperate rainforest (Credit: David Moskowitz)

Inaction on old growth isn’t an option

Today, irreplaceable old-growth forests are being logged all over British Columbia. Inaction is no longer an option. Does hope for these forests, for people and wildlife still exist? Our answer is yes. This hope comes from the good that people, including you, are doing by taking a stand for nature.

This past year, hundreds of people have been part of ongoing Indigenous-led protests on the logging of rare old growth in southern Vancouver Island. With more than 1,000 people having been arrested at the Fairy Creek protests, this is now the largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history (856 were arrested at Clayoquot Sound in 1993.)

During this time, the inland temperate rainforest in the Yellowstone to Yukon region — and the communities of people and animals who depend on it — have also needed voices of support.

This summer, Y2Y joined local community members, including First Nations leaders and representatives, in calling on the provincial government and timber companies to stop logging high-risk old growth and caribou habitat. Groups, such as Old Growth Revylution near Revelstoke, have also been a strong presence in the region.

People protect the places they love. For Vicky Husband, this fight to protect old-growth forests has endured for more than 40 years.

“The inland temperate rainforest is one of the jewels of the world,” says Vicky. “Old-growth forests are critical for so many reasons and absolutely have to be protected. That’s the best way forward right now.”

Vicky Husband has been fighting to protect old-growth forests in British Columbia for more than 40 years. Here, she stands in an unprotected old-growth forest on Vancouver Island. (Credit: Ken Wu)

You have been a big part of demanding protections for old growth and caribou habitat. We’ve seen thousands of petition signatures and letters come in from people telling decision-makers why this issue matters. You have also shown unwavering support through your gifts.

While there’s a work still to be done, the impassioned reaction to these issues shows we can make a difference — together.

Speak up for these fantastic forests.

Thank you for taking a stand; and for continuing this fight for the forests that do a world of good.