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Posted April 22, 2013

NDP Environmental Platform is like a "Blurry Sasquatch Video” on Old-Growth Forest Protection and Park Creation – Details Needed

AFA Media Release, April 22, 2013

NDP Environmental Platform is like a
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“The NDP’s environment platform is like a blurry moving sasquatch video in regards to potential old-growth forest protections and park creation – you can’t discern if it’s real and significant, or if it’s just Dix in a fake gorilla costume..."

 
 
For Immediate Release
April 22, 2013
 
NDP Environmental Platform is like a "Blurry Sasquatch Video” on Old-Growth Forest Protection and Park Creation – Details Needed
 
Today on Earth Day BC NDP leader Adrian Dix announced the party’s environment platform, stating that an NDP government would “reinvest in BC’s parks” and “protect  endangered species and habitats”. A version of the media release (not posted online) also stated the party would work to “acquire” “wetlands” and “old-growth forests”. See the main media release at:  www.bcndp.ca/newsroom/dix-invests-green-projects-ends-carbon-credit-fund-and-reaffirms-opposition-enbridge
 
“The NDP’s environment platform is like a blurry moving sasquatch video in regards to potential old-growth forest protections and park creation – you can’t discern if it’s real and significant, or if it’s just Dix in a fake gorilla costume running to get attention,” stated Ken Wu, the Ancient Forest Alliance’s executive director. “We need the NDP to commit to a science-based plan to fully protect BC’s endangered old-growth forests on Crown lands, to ensure sustainable second-growth forestry, and to commit to a BC park acquisition fund to purchase and protect endangered ecosystems on private lands. We can’t discern any of these things with their vague and ambiguous statements with almost no details. We’re hoping a stronger and more detailed plan is yet to come...we’re waiting. At least it looks like they may be starting to move forward on forest protection commitments.”
 
The Ancient Forest Alliance is calling for a BC park acquisition fund, a provincial fund similar to the park acquisition funds of many Regional Districts like the Capital Regional District around Victoria.  The fund would be used to help purchase significant tracts of endangered private lands of high conservation, scenic, and recreation value to add to BC’s protected areas system. Private lands constitute about 5% of BC’s land base, or about 4 million hectares, and include some of the rarest and most endangered ecosystems in the province, including the drier Douglas-fir dominated old-growth forests, Garry Oak meadows, wetlands, deciduous riparian forests, sage-filled grasslands, and the semi-arid “pocket desert” in the South Okanagan. The BC Liberals nixed the province’s park acquisition fund after the 2008 budget.
 
“Studies have shown that for every $1 spent by the BC government on our protected areas system, another $9 in tourism revenues is generated in the provincial economy,” stated TJ Watt, campaigner and photographer with the AFA. “What better investment can we make than to spend a modest sum each year to protect Beautiful British Columbia?"
 
The AFA is also calling for a sustainable forestry overhaul. This includes protecting BC’s endangered old-growth forests where already 75% of the original, productive old-growth forests have been logged on BC’s southern coast, including over 90% in the valley bottoms where the largest trees grow.
 
Most of BC’s remaining old-growth forests are found on Crown lands, which constitute over 90% of the province, and any old-growth plan in BC must fundamentally focus on protection measures on Crown lands.
 
Old-growth forests are vital for supporting endangered species, tourism, the climate, clean water and salmon, and many First Nations cultures.
 
Last Monday, the NDP released their forestry platform that made no mention of protecting old-growth forests, sustainable forestry, or the environment. It essentially continues the unsustainable status quo of old-growth forest liquidation and overcutting at the expense of ecosystems and communities. See last week’s media release:  www.ancientforestalliance.org/news-item.php?ID=630
 
The BC Green Party has committed to a science-based plan to protect BC’s endangered old-growth forests. See: www.andrewjweaver.ca/bc_green_party_forestry_action_plan   
 
The BC Liberals still hold their unscientific stance that “old-growth forests are not disappearing” and that they've managed them well, and are leaving a largely anti-environmental policy legacy of old-growth forest liquidation and environmental deregulation in most of BC, with over 30,000 forestry jobs lost as tens of millions of raw logs were exported.
 
NDP Leader Adrian Dix, during his 2011 campaign to become party leader, promised to: “Develop a long term strategy for old growth forests in the province, including protection of specific areas that are facing immediate logging plans.” (see point #4 in “Ecosystem Management”) http://conservationvoters.ca/past-endorsements/leadership-race-2011/ndp-candidates/adrian-dix
 
While several NDP MLA’s have championed protecting specific old-growth forests while in Opposition, which the Ancient Forest Alliance has given kudos for, at this time Dix and the NDP party as a whole have not followed up, developed any specifics, or officially adopted Dix’s earlier leadership promise for a province-wide old-growth plan.
 
“We’ve heard that the NDP might still come forward with a stronger, specific, more detailed commitment to protect BC’s endangered old-growth forests.  We sure hope they do, and if so we’ll be sure to give the NDP credit. Until then, their position on old-growth forests and sustainable forestry at this time is not distinguishable from the BC Liberals’ policies of short-sighted resource depletion and ecosystem-destruction,” stated Wu.
 
See spectacular photos of our old-growth forests atwww.ancientforestalliance.org/galleries.php  (NOTE: Media are free to reprint any photos, credit to “TJ Watt” if possible. Let us know if you need higher res shots too)
 
See a recent ancient forest campaign video atwww.youtube.com/watch?v=z6YTizBF-jE
 
Authorized by the Ancient Forest Alliance, registered sponsor under the Election Act
Ancient Forest, Alliance, Victoria Main PO, PO Box 8459, Victoria, BC, V8W 3S1 Canada
 
 


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