During 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.
It 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.
A healthy forest, on the west coast of British Columbia, has some trees that are a thousand to two thousand years old. Many different species of plants and flowers are closer to the ground. There is a variety of wildlife, and fish in the streams. This is disappearing from British Columbia and Sierra Club BC is calling on BC to protect endangered coastal rainforests.
British Columbia’s Ministry of Forests said the first cutback the in the Walbran Valley is only 3.2 hectares large. It is to be heli-logged, not clearcut. The province is protecting over 30,300 hectares in old growth management areas in the South Island Natural Resource District. The map on the top of this page shows what they did not say, why the Walbran is important.
There are credible experts who believe that, with proper regulation and enforcement, it is possible to have a trustworthy fracking industry. They also say this does not yet exist in North America. Personally, I think the industry is out of control and BC’s government is desperate to get in bed with it. Last week the government released a report from Ernst & Young (EY) which the Minister of Natural Gas Development says “British Columbians can have confidence they are benefiting from a clean, well regulated natural gas industry.” Does Ernst & Young’s LNG report vindicate BC?