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Posted March 1, 2010

Old-growth forests could bring tourists

Letter the the Editor from T.J. Watt, Times Colonist, February 26, 2010

The Feb. 20 Raeside cartoon is a perfect representation of the Liberal government's stance on the fate of our world-class ancient forests. The cartoon depicts Gordon Campbell promoting the province to Olympic tourists by showing off our spectacular old-growth forests. The tourists, upon returning next summer to take photos, find a field of giant stumps.

This continues to be the fate of many of our last stands of giant trees in southern B.C. and shows a lack of understanding of what draws many people to the best place on Earth.

Vancouver Island has the potential to be the Costa Rica of the north, with a thriving eco-tourism market that brings in tourists from all over the globe to see our amazing temperate rainforests. These dynamic ecosystems clean our water, fight climate change and contain mammoth 1,000-year-old trees with trunks more than six metres wide and 90 metres tall.

The government is complacently allowing the clearcutting of these rare gems and their subsequent conversion to much smaller and ecologically simpler second-growth tree plantations.

People are not travelling from across the world to see plantations and clearcuts. The government needs to say enough is enough in regard to logging our natural old-growth heritage and protect what little we do have left, while ensuring a sustainable second-growth, value-added industry.


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