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.
On June 1, 2016, the Governors of Washington, Oregon and California joined British Columbia’s Environment Minister and representatives from six West Coast cities, in the Borgia Room of San Francisco’s Westin St. Francis Hotel, to sign what history may show was a key milestone in the struggle to mount a concerted defence against the ravages of global temperature rise. The 2016 Pacific Coast Climate Leadership Action Plan has a strong emphasis on issues like ocean acidification; the integration of clean energy into the power grid; “support for efforts by the insurance industry and regulatory system to highlight the economic costs of climate change; and so-called “super pollutants” (also known as short-lived climate pollutants).” This sounds good, but do the Pacific Coast’s “Climate Leaders” mean business?
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.