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British Columbia Ancient Forests News


Posted March 7, 2013

Activist Tackles Raw Log Exports

Community forum includes discussion about changes to forest act

Powell River Peak, March 7, 2013

Activist Tackles Raw Log Exports
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Ken Wu, of the Ancient Forest Alliance, is speaking at a community forum about raw log exports, logging old growth and expanding tree farm licences in BC.
TJ Watt

A BC environmental activist is talking about raw log exports at a community forum tonight, Wednesday, March 6.

Ken Wu, of the Ancient Forest Alliance, is speaking at 7 pm in Trinity Hall, United Church, on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Duncan Street.

Last year, more than 5.7 million cubic metres of raw logs were exported from BC. In January, Forest Minister Steve Thomson announced changes to export rules that would include the cost of transporting logs to the Vancouver log market as a factor in determining whether logs are available for export.

“The government has essentially made it easier for companies to export raw logs, especially from Vancouver Island,” said Wu.

In terms of solutions, Wu said, the government needs to restructure the industry to provide the support for a value-added second growth forest industry. “Right now, a lot of the second growth logs are being exported to foreign mills,” he said.

As well, Wu said, he will be talking about the proposed expansion to tree farm licences in the province. The government has proposed amendments to the Forest Act that will allow for the conversion of volume-based forest licences to area-based tree farm licences at the minister’s discretion.

The government is increasing corporate control over Crown lands in BC by introducing the new bill in the legislature, just before the writ is dropped for the election, Wu said. “It enables the minister of forests to readily create new tree farm licences which confer exclusive logging rights over vast areas of land for these companies,” he said.

Another topic Wu will speak about is the need to protect old-growth forests, he said. “There’s controversial logging all around the province, including on the Sunshine Coast, in old-growth forests,” he said.

The community forum is sponsored by PR Voices, Communications, Energy and Paperworkers’ Union of Canada and Malaspina Sierra Club. Discussion and refreshments will follow Wu’s presentation and admission is by a suggested donation of $5.

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