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British Columbia Ancient Forests News
URGENT- Strong Old-Growth Commitment Needed from BC's NDP - Speak Up Now!
SEND a NEW MESSAGE at: www.BCForestMovement.com
Ancient Forest Alliance, May 1, 2013
URGENT- Strong Old-Growth Commitment Needed from BC's NDP - Speak Up Now! SEND a NEW MESSAGE at: www.BCForestMovement.com
Last week the BC NDP mentioned in their Main Election Platform that they will "protect valuable old-growth forests", though they have not yet specified key details like "how much", "where", or "when". Previously, the NDP's Forestry Platform and their initial Environment Platform made no mention of old-growth forests or sustainable forestry, so this is a step forward for the party. What is needed now is a stronger commitment for a comprehensive, science-based old-growth protection plan that will fully end old-growth logging in endangered ecosystems and regions of BC. Already 91% of the high-productivity valley bottom ancient forests on BC's southern coast with the "classic" monumental trees have been logged, while 99% of the old-growth Coastal Douglas Firs have been logged. There is a large scale ecological crisis in BC's woods and our politicians must understand this if they are to be elected.
Currently, the BC Liberals contend that "old-growth forests are not disappearing" while the BC Greens have committed to a science-based plan to fully protect endangered old-growth forests.
Tracts of old-growth forests are regularly protected in BC each year through the implementation of regional land use plans that designate new Old-Growth Management Areas (OGMA’s), often in marginal old-growth stands with stunted trees - while at the same time larger areas of productive old-growth forests are logged. The crucial question on the NDP's old-growth plan is if it would exceed the inadequate protection levels of the status quo under the BC Liberals and restrict or end the logging of endangered old-growth forests in any region of the province. Without further details, the NDP's stance could very well be just a continuation of the unsustainable status quo. In fact, BC's top industry insiders so far say it is [see details BELOW].
PLEASE SPEAK UP!
Putting pressure on NDP candidates is the MOST IMPORTANT thing YOU can do to protect our ancient forests now!! The NDP will likely form BC's new government in less than three weeks. There’s a large scale ecological crisis underway in BC’s ancient forests as we lose biodiversity and as ecosystems collapse, and continuing the status quo is simply untenable. Right now, THOUSANDS of people must tell the NDP to make a stronger, detailed commitment on protecting old-growth forests. The NDP must be given full credit if they come forward with a strong old-growth commitment before this election - if they don't, their failure must also be noted.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- SEND a MESSAGE (even if you've done so before - it's a NEW message) to BC's politicians at: www.BCForestMovement.com
- RAISE the Old-Growth Issue at ALL-CANDIDATES DEBATES. Ask the candidates if they will "Commit to end the logging of endangered old-growth forests and to ensure sustainable, value-added, second-growth forestry" and to "End the export of raw logs to foreign mills".
- SPEAK to Political Canvassers at your door from the NDP or other parties about your old-growth and forestry concerns.
- WRITE LETTERS to the EDITORS (under 200 words, include your name, mailing address and phone number so they can verify you're real) to the Times Colonist (firstname.lastname@example.org), Vancouver Sun (email@example.com), The Province (firstname.lastname@example.org), BC Community Papers ( http://www.bclocalnews.com/community/ - includes Monday Magazine), Georgia Straight (email@example.com) and others.
- POST your concerns on FACEBOOK pages and in online forums and commentary sections following news articles.
**** MOST EFFECTIVE *** EMAIL, PHONE, and ASK to MEET your NDP Candidate to "commit to a science-based old-growth protection plan that will fully end old-growth logging in endangered regions, and to ensure a sustainable second-growth forest industry."
*** PS. Make sure you let them know if you're an NDP MEMBER, VOLUNTEER, or PREVIOUSLY VOTED NDP.
*** PPS. Don't let your candidate skirt the old-growth issue by offering countless excuses, egs. "We've already committed to protecting old-growth" (but the question is "how much?" "where?", "when?", "will you fully end old-growth logging in any major regions like Vancouver Island or the Lower Mainland?" etc.), "We've committed to planting more trees" (a tree farm does not replace an old-growth forest), "We need better inventories first before we can make any specific old-growth commitments" (existing inventories are more than good enough to know we've already logged most productive old-growth forests, updated inventories today will show even less remain), "We will invest in forest health" (the largest threat to forest health is large scale old-growth depletion and unsustainable logging), "After the election we can talk with stakeholders" (after the election politicians will no longer feel pressure to change the entrenched status quo), "We don't know the province's real financial situation until we take power, it would be irresponsible to make such commitments before we figure out the finances" (this is not a spending issue, it's one of regulations and legislation to restrict an unsustainable activity), "We will protect endangered species habitat which will protect old-growth" (good, but we need stand-alone old-growth protection legislation, not possible partial protection indirectly through other measures...).
Here are some NDP CANDIDATES with their ridings, phone, and email (Find all the NDP candidates at: http://www.bcndp.ca/team).
DETAILS and MORE INFO:
The BC NDP's platform briefly mentions they will "Protect wetlands, estuaries, and valuable old-growth forests" but elaborates no further. "How?", "To what extent?", "Where?", and "When?" are all vital questions that must be answered for the promise to be meaningful. See: http://www.ancientforestalliance.org/news-item.php?ID=642
The NDP's Forestry Platform released on April 15 makes no mention of old-growth protection, sustainability, or the environment. It commits to investing in more tree-planting (tree plantations do not replicate old-growth forests), expanding global markets for BC wood products (ie. BC old-growth logs and lumber sold to China, Japan, USA, etc.), reducing raw log exports (with no details how besides “work with stakeholders”), creating a jobs commissioner, training more workers, "improving" forest health (ie. intensive silviculture), and better forest inventories. See: www.ancientforestalliance.org/news-item.php?ID=630
Even the presidents of BC's two largest old-growth logging industry associations, Rick Jeffrey of the Coast Forest Products Association (CFPA) and John Allen of the Council Of Forest Industries (COFI), have both stated that the NDP's forestry platform represents the status quo, with little difference from the BC Liberal government's policies. See:
"Parties' Forestry Platforms Show Few Differences, Industry Insiders Say": www.timescolonist.com/parties-forestry-platforms-show-few-differences-industry-insiders-say-1.111472
and "Global TV: Cathedral Grove and NDP on Forestry"
The BC Green Party has committed to a science-based plan to protect BC’s endangered old-growth forests and to ensure sustainable second-growth forestry. See: www.andrewjweaver.ca/bc_green_party_forestry_action_plan and www.greenparty.bc.ca/forestry
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 an anti-environmental legacy of old-growth forest liquidation and environmental deregulation across most of BC.
There is hope though. Recently, NDP leader Adrian Dix changed course and announced his opposition to increased tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet from the Kinder Morgan pipeline due to huge public pressure on his candidates, ie. public pressure on candidates led to candidates pressuring Dix. The same process is underway for BC's old-growth forests if YOU speak up. See:
Victoria News: Ancient Forest Alliance pushes parties to protect old-growth
Times Colonist: Ancient Forest Alliance calls for science-based forest plan
The Globe and Mail: NDP’s forest-policy plank sparks partisan ire, disappoints ecologists
The Tyee: NDP forest plan ‘minor deviation from unsustainable status quo’: critic
Maclean's Magazine: Earth Day forms backdrop to BC Election Campaign
Youtube Clip: Save BC's Endangered Old-Growth Forests and Forestry Jobs:
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