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Posted September 21, 2012

EIGHT MONTH COUNTDOWN until the BC Election!

YOUR support is urgently needed to make BCs Old-Growth Forests and Sustainable Forestry Jobs central ELECTION ISSUES

September 21, 2012

EIGHT MONTH COUNTDOWN until the BC Election!
Photo by TJ Watt

Please DONATE to help the Ancient Forest Alliance build a much-needed “War Chest” of funding during this crucial pre-election period to shape major provincial policy decisions.

DONATE at: https://www.ancientforestalliance.org/donations.php

The Greatest Opportunity is NOW for New Forest Policy Commitments

The next eight months will be a crucial time period for the fate of BC’s old-growth forests – in fact, the most important in BC’s history for ancient forests. In May, 2013, there will be a provincial election. During this pre-election period, politicians both in government and in the opposition are highly sensitive to public pressure as they seek power in the upcoming election. This is the time they must listen to the Ancient Forest Alliance and thousands of our supporters calling for new forest policy commitments including a Provincial Old-Growth Strategy that will protect BC’s endangered old-growth forests and that will ensure a sustainable, value-added second-growth forest industry.

Times Have Changed

Over the past three decades, the level of public awareness and sympathy for the protection of BC’s old-growth forests has steadily grown…so much so that today, the social expectations that the last of these magnificent ancient forests be protected and a sustainable second-growth forest industry be established is far in the majority of public opinion. However, the fate of ancient forests is not necessarily at the forefront of most people's minds, and may not be a voting issue for many yet. We need to get it there through a massive campaign now.

All indications are there will be a major shift in the politics of this province in the upcoming election. But there are no guarantees that whoever rules BC next, they will fundamentally change the status quo of old-growth forest liquidation in BC – unless there is massive public pressure coming from BC’s electorate. NOW is the time that we must make the decisive, large-scale, concerted public push for a new provincial plan to protect our endangered forests and jobs. 

What’s at Stake?

The fate of BC’s forests is not just “one among many environmental issues”, but is the overriding, most significant environmental land-use issue in the province for the simple reason that forests are by far the dominant part of BC’s landbase and industrial logging exerts the largest ecological footprint of any land-use activity in BC – 200,000 hectares of forests are logged every year, an area about twenty times the size of the city of Vancouver.  This logging includes tens of thousands of hectares of old-growth forests each year. Logging of BC’s forests heavily impacts the climate, endangered species, water quality, wild fisheries, First Nations cultures, tourism, scenery, recreation, and our quality of lives.

What will we DO?

The Ancient Forest Alliance leads the way among BC conservation groups campaigning for a province-wide forestry overhaul to save ancient forests and forestry jobs. History demonstrates that only large-scale awareness and mobilization of a broad diversity of citizens can ensure major societal shifts, including how the tens of millions of hectares of BC’s forests are going to be managed. Over the next eight months we will:

  • Meet and engage with a large and diverse number of politicians both in government and opposition.
  • Build swing-riding campaigns in communities where politicians are particularly sensitive to public opinion.
  • Organize a province-wide presentation tour to inform and rally communities across BC.
  • Meet with a large diversity of stakeholders to build support among businesses, unions, faith groups, municipal leaders, scientists, and many others.
  • Organize a large array of public events including hikes, rallies, slideshows, and meetings.
  • Garner an unprecedented amount of media coverage to raise public awareness in BC about the centrality of ancient forests and raw log exports as provincial election issues.
  • Produce several vital new reports on the status of old-growth forests (including new maps) and on the economic value of standing old-growth forests.
  • Aim to build a new boardwalk in the Avatar Grove on the existing heavily used trail, once we receive the final permissions from various levels of government to proceed. The Avatar Grove was protected from logging earlier this year by a successful two year campaign led by the AFA.
  • Continue to fight for and support the protection of specific endangered ancient forests, such as the Castle Grove in the Walbran Valley, Mossy Maple Grove, Mclaughlin Ridge, Cathedral Grove Canyon, Stillwater Bluffs, Day Road Forest, Wilson Creek Forest, Christy Clark Grove, Cameron Valley Firebreak, areas within BC’s inland rainforest, areas within the drier old-growth forests of BC’s interior, and many more areas, while emphasizing the need for a province-wide old-growth plan.

 …and much more!

We Need Funding to Take Advantage of this Most Opportune Time

Unfortunately the AFA is highly underfunded and we are currently in a very tough financial spot. To top it off, we really need to greatly expand our funding base for the heightened period of intense campaigning over the next 8 months before a BC election!

We can’t let the BEST OPPORTUNITY to ensure the protection of BC’s ancient forests SLIP BY by due to a lack of funding. IF THERE WAS EVER A TIME TO SUPPORT US, IT IS NOW.

Again, you can donate by going to:  https://www.ancientforestalliance.org/donations.php

With your help, we’re confident now that we’ll change the history of BC’s forests over the coming intense eight months, for the benefit of future generations of human and non-human communities throughout BC.

For the Wild,

Ken Wu, Joan Varley, TJ Watt, Hannah Carpendale




 


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