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British Columbia Ancient Forests News


Posted May 19, 2010

Old-Growth Forest Slideshow Comes to Saltspring Island on Thursday, May 27

Media Release, May 19, 2010

Old-Growth Forest Slideshow Comes to Saltspring Island on Thursday, May 27
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Old-growth forests are ecologically complex places that support endangered species, eco-tourism, first nations use, and climate mitigation.
Photo by TJ Watt

An informative and spectacular slideshow presentation of the largest trees in Canada including the Red Creek Fir, San Juan Spruce, Cheewhat Cedar and the newly-discovered Avatar Grove, and the politics and ecology of BC's old-growth forests and forestry jobs, will be presented on Thursday, May 27 (7:00-8:30 pm, Central Hall on Fulford-Ganges Rd., by donation) by Ken Wu and TJ Watt of the newly formed Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA).

"We're grateful for the local support of Jonathan and Karen Clemson on Saltspring Island in hosting this event. Saltspring Island may very well have the highest population density of tree-huggers in North America. It's a key place for us to build support to expand the campaign to save BC's last ancient forests and to ban raw log exports to foreign mills," states Ken Wu, AFA campaign director.

To date, about 75% of Vancouver Island’s productive old growth forest has been logged according to satellite photos, including 90% of the flat valley bottoms, while only 6% of its original, productive old-growth forests are protected in parks. Meanwhile thousands of forestry jobs are being lost as millions of cubic meters of raw logs are exported each year to foreign mills.

Old-growth forests are important for sustaining species at risk, tourism, clean water, and First Nations traditional cultures.

With so little of our ancient forests remaining, the Ancient Forest Alliance is calling on the BC Liberal government to:

- Undertake a Provincial Old-Growth Strategy that will inventory and protect old-growth forests where they are scarce (egs. Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands, Lower Mainland, southern Interior, etc.).

- Ensure the sustainable logging of second-growth forests, which now constitute the vast majority of southern BC’s forests.

- End the export of raw logs in order to ensure 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.

“How many jurisdictions on Earth have trees with trunks as wide as living rooms and that grow as tall as downtown skyscrapers? We’re so lucky to have such exceptionally magnificent forests on Vancouver Island. Unfortunately 90% of the valley bottoms where the largest trees grow have already been cut here, yet the BC Liberal government still contends that it’s fine for the industry finish off the last of the unprotected stands,” states TJ Watt, campaigner and photographer with the Ancient Forest Alliance.

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