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British Columbia Ancient Forests News
Rally Against Logging Old-Growth Forests
Coast News, October 23, 2013
A rally Tuesday at Cathedral Grove will bring together conservation groups from around Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, including the Wilderness Committee Mid-Island Chapter, Port Alberni Watershed Forest Alliance, Save the Day based in Roberts Creek and the Ancient Forest Alliance. They are planning to speak out en masse against old-growth logging by Island Timberlands.
Ken Wu of the Ancient Forest Alliance says the deregulation of large areas of old growth forest by the government in 2004 has enabled the company to start logging areas that animals like elk and deer, and endangered species like the Queen Charlotte Goshawk, rely upon for survival.
“The important message here is that Island Timberlands needs to back off from their hotspots. It’s not saying that they need to stop logging everywhere, but they’ve got to back off from the areas that were previously designated for protection. These areas are the ecological gems; the high conservation-value forests and extremely rare old growth forests where deer and elk spend the winter. Those areas were all off-limits to logging until the government removed those environmental laws just a few years ago. So it’s not like it’s just a company that wants the freedom to log its own private lands. The original logging rights on the public lands were given in exchange for regulation of these private lands, so if you’re thinking about justice for the public good, the companies can’t be allowed to log these areas that were previously protected.”
Wu says Island Timberlands is eyeing up Mount Horne, along with areas in Port Alberni, Powell River and Roberts Creek.
“The company has also flagged Mount Horne. It’s the mountainside above Cathedral Grove. That was also another area of old growth that was supposed to be set aside for deer. It was, until the government deregulated those lands a few years ago. So even the mountainside 300 metres away from the boundary of MacMillan Provincial Park could potentially get logged.”
He says they'll call on Island Timberlands to back away from rare old growth forests during the rally Tuesday from 12:30-1:30 at Cathedral Grove.