Writer disagrees with Mr. Tom Fletcher

A recent editorial in this newspaper perpetuates factual errors that fail to inform any debate.

Dear Editor,

The recent release of a report by the BC Auditor General has led to a vigorous debate on the future of carbon neutral government. As a seller of carbon credits to the Pacific Carbon Trust, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) looks forward to any clarity that may result in the BC carbon market. However, a recent editorial in this newspaper (“Greenhouse gas leaks from Pacific Carbon Trust” by Tom Fletcher), perpetuates factual errors that fail to inform any debate.

Acquisition of a conservation project is the beginning of our work, not the end. When NCC purchased Darkwoods in 2008, our expensive, long-term commitment to the conservation lands began. From the outset, revenue from carbon sales was seen as critical to supporting this stewardship effort. Without the possibility of carbon sales NCC could not have undertaken a project of the size and scope of Darkwoods. Yet, those facts are conveniently overlooked by Mr. Fletcher.

Further he fails to understand the baseline used to calculate stored carbon at Darkwoods. Independent evaluations were not based on the possibility of NCC clear-cutting the property, but rather on what would have happened had NCC not acquired Darkwoods. The alternative to NCC ownership was acquisition by a market-based buyer. The land would have been intensively logged and subdivided. The difference between that scenario and the current conserved property forms the basis for carbon valuation.

Mr. Fletcher asks, rhetorically if NCC would have logged Darkwoods. “Legally, it could not,” he writes. On the contrary, NCC does log the Darkwoods site. We operate a small, sustainable harvest based on conservation values that supports the property and the community. In fact, overall our ownership of Darkwoods has resulted in a $13 million economic benefit to the community, to date.

The Darkwoods Forest Carbon project was the first of its kind undertaken in Canada. The project is certified under the Verified Carbon Standard; a standard that ensures a carbon project follows internationally-recognized protocols and has tangible environmental benefits. The Nature Conservancy of Canada spent three years developing the project, and exercised due diligence at every step while working with various industry experts. The project also fulfilled all provincial regulations and met all standards for Carbon Offsets.

More importantly, Darkwoods is a world-class conservation project. Without revenue from forest carbon, the long-term protection of this vital 55,000 hectare property and the fate of animals and plants that find a haven there would be in jeopardy. The proceeds from the carbon sales went back into the long-term stewardship of Darkwoods—for the sake of nature and the people of British Columbia.

Darkwoods ensures in perpetuity, British Columbians will see the magnificent forest for the trees.

Sincerely,

Tom Swann

Associate Regional Vice-President, BC The Nature Conservancy of Canada

 

Just Posted

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Birtch Parlee is one of approximately 132,000 transgender people living across the nation, according to Statistics Canada. Photo submitted
Transgender in a small town – Princeton B.C.

“I buried it. I pushed it down. I lived a lie.”

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Dan Albas
COLUMN: Reopening the international border

Governments in Canada and the United States are working towards reopening plans for the border

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

A heart of ribbons is seen on the fence of Highroad Academy along Chilliwack Central Road on Friday, June 4, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Orange Heart Memorial campaign launches in Vernon on National Indigenous Peoples Day

North Okanagan Friendship Center raising funds for bench, mural memorializing 215 discovered in Kamloops

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth and Attorney General David Eby attend opening of the first government-run B.C. Cannabis Store, Kamloops, Oct. 19, 2018. (B.C. government)
B.C. government to allow home cannabis delivery starting July 15

Added convenience expected to persuade buyers to ‘go legal’

Most Read