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British Columbia Ancient Forests News
Ancient Forest Alliance Stands in Solidarity with Forestry Workers
Environmental Groupís Forest Campaigner, TJ Watt, speaks to hundreds-strong forestry union rally
AFA Media Release, September 17, 2010
"Under Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberals we have seen over 60 mills shut down across the province since 2003 while raw log exports have nearly doubled" said Watt. "It's time to ban raw log exports in BC, to rejuvenate local mills, and to once again provide secure jobs for the thousands upon thousands of forestry workers who have been kicked aside by this backwards policy". Simply put - “Exported logs = exported jobs”.
The AFA believes there can be a solution that works for both our ancient forests and our forestry workers. "The BC Liberal government needs to stimulate investment in the retooling of old-growth sawmills so they can handle second-growth trees. With 90% of the most productive lands on
It is inevitable that there will be a transition to logging of only second-growth forests in the not so distant future as the remaining old-growth forests are logged out on
With so little of our ancient forests remaining, the Ancient Forest Alliance is calling on the BC Liberal government to:
· Immediately protect the most at-risk old-growth forests – such as those on the South Island where only 12% remains and on eastern
· Undertake a Provincial Old-Growth Strategy that will inventory the old-growth forests across the province and protect them where they are scarce through legislated time lines to quickly phase-out old-growth logging in those regions (ie.
· Ensure that second-growth forests are logged at a sustainable rate of cut
· End the export of raw logs in order to create guaranteed log supplies for local milling and value-added industries.
· Assist in the retooling and development of mills and value-added facilities to handle second-growth logs.
· Undertake new land-use planning initiatives based on First Nations land-use plans, ecosystem-based scientific assessments, and climate mitigation strategies involving forest protection.
“If the industry does not adjust in order process second-growth trees, what happens down the road when that’s basically all that’s available? Where are the forestry jobs going to be?” Watt wonders. “The rest of most the world is logging second, third, fourth growth and making it work. We need to be moving up the value chain, not down it. In the end, it's about the long term sustainability of a resource and an industry, and right now we're moving in completely the wrong direction."