Category Archives: Forests

Fun with Firewood

By Roy L Hales

Firewood is a vital source of heat energy on Cortes Island. Some think of it as our secret sin. There may be more environmentally conscious people here than any other part of British Columbia, per capita, yet we use a more carbon producing energy source than coal. This is the season when we cut and stack it for the coming winter. It’s also time to have fun with firewood.

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British Columbia’s Fight For Sustainable Logging

By Roy L Hales

When Island Timberlands arrived in 2012, they found Cortes island residents waiting behind a blockade. The Vancouver Observer sent a young film maker to cover the story, but Daniel Pierce found more than just another clash between a logging company and local environmentalists. He is still documenting British Columbia’s fight for sustainable logging.
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Sampling A Slice Of Nature At Cliff Gilker Park

By Roy L Hales

There is a little spot of Eden just outside of Gibsons. A 7-kilometre-long network of trails guides visitors along Roberts Creek and through the old growth forest. Sampling a slice of nature at Cliff Gilker Park can be an afternoon’s experience, or a short relaxing walk.

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Potentially Embarrassing Questions About BC’s Stumpage Rates

By Roy L Hales

screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3-43-47-pm1During a recent interview,  film maker Damien Gillis said “there would be a great deal of outrage” if the public knew the degree to which we subsidize logging old growth forests. These subsidies come in the form of lower stumpage fees for the remote areas where most of our surviving ancient forests still persist.  Gillis also informed me this is a central issue in the United States’ softwood dispute with Canada. After the interview, I drew up a series of potentially embarrassing questions about BC’s stumpage rates.

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Clearcutting The Walbran’s Thousand-Year-Old Trees

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMIt has been a year since the Wilderness Committee drew our attention to the planned logging of old growth trees in the central Walbran Valley. So far, the controversial heli-block 4424 has remained untouched. Since last November, Teal Jones has been logging 6 or 7 cutblocks in the more easily accessible areas south of the river.  They are already clearcutting the Walbran’s thousand-year-old trees.

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Cortes Island’s Quest For Sustainable Logging

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMMost of the great forests that once covered the West Coast are gone. Though there is still an extensive canopy, the trees are scraggly compared to the stumps and historical photographs left from decades ago. The clear cutting in British Columbia is so extensive that, since 2003, the forests have been emitting rather than storing carbon. Some call for a more environmentally sensitive industry and an example of Cortes Islands quest for sustainable logging is about a mile from my home.

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The Month Long Siege Of Chapman Creek Continues

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMThis isn’t the first time that there has been disputes over logging in the Chapman Creek Watershed. In response to complaints from the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD), in 2014 the ‘Managed Forest Council hired Madrone Environmental Services to ascertain the cause of “increased turbidity” in the water supply (which services up to 30,000 households). Geoscientist Gordon Butt pointed to logging after the “onset of the fall rains” and concluded, “Although there has been no clear contravention of the regulations, it is clear to me that industry standards for protecting water quality have not been met in CH1. The short-comings are substantially more serious given the fact that this logging has been carried out in a highly sensitive watershed supplying a large population.” 1 When AJB Investments resumed logging operations in late January of this year, Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) responded with a blockade. The latest attempt at negotiation has just broken down and the month long siege of Chapman Creek continues.
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Can We Protect Our Forests As The Climate Changes?

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1Over the past 30 years, temperatures have risen around 1.5 degrees fahernheit on the slopes of Colorado’s La Plata Mountains. Though it is difficult to speak authoritaivley, University of Washington’s graduate student Leander Anderegg believes the forests will probably change during the net generation. They will definietly change during ourlifetime. His key question is, can we protect our forests as the climate changes?

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War On The Woods Returns To the Walbran

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMThe struggle  to the Walbran valley’s ancient trees, in a intact Old Forest ecosystem, started in the 1980s. This led to the logging blockades and the provincial government setting a portion of this area in the Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park. A Surrey based logging company recently applied to harvest eight cutblocks of the unprotected area and on last month the Ministry of Forests gave them permission to start in cutback 4424. Friends of Carmanah/Walbran responded by setting up a community witness camp. Yesterday, September 9, Teal Jones’ road building crews were turned away. Thus it is that war on the woods returns To the Walbran.

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