7/24/2013

Old Growth Clear Cutting Continues

Example of spectacular temperate rain forest on Vancouver Island
contrasted with nearby logging of old-growth forest.
Photo by TJ Watt
Congratulations BC on voting for fewer old growth trees and forestry jobs in the province's forests during the recent election.

BC now has a new government, same as the old government. Get ready for business as usual in the province's old growth forests, especially since environmentalists in Canada are now seen as "radicals, adversaries, job-killers, foreign funded radicals and ideological extremists".

Definitely not a good time to be a defender of the trees, although during dark days such as these it is the most important time to be a voice in the wilderness.

Instead of bringing such individuals and organizations in from the wild fringes, environmentalists are instead put on the federal government's official "enemies" list. These so-called radical groups could be audited by the CRA in order to muzzle what is seen as a threat rather than evidence of a functioning democracy.

The BC Liberals are good pals with the current pro-business as usual regime in Ottawa, and use many of the same tactics.

Expect more old growth clear cuts, fewer jobs, and more ships laden with old growth whole log shipments to China and other overseas markets.

Clear Cuts

“In clear-cutting, he said, you clear away the natural forest, or what the industrial forester calls "weed trees," and plant all one species of tree in neat straight functional rows like corn, sorghum, sugar beets or any other practical farm crop. 

You then dump on chemical fertilizers to replace the washed-away humus, inject the seedlings with growth-forcing hormones, surround your plot with deer repellents and raise a uniform crop of trees, all identical. 

When the trees reach a certain prespecified height (not maturity; that takes too long) you send in a fleet of tree-harvesting machines and cut the fuckers down. All of them. 

Then burn the slash, and harrow, seed, fertilize all over again, round and round and round again, faster and faster, tighter and tighter until, like the fabled Malaysian Concentric Bird which flies in ever-smaller circles, you disappear up your own asshole.” 

― Edward Abbey


In 2010 Hannah Carpendale wrote "Losing Legacies In The Cut Block" in the Simon Fraser University student newspaper. The article chronicles the sad state of affairs in BC's forests at the time, and things have not improved since.

She states, "Logging of our ancient forests is a luxury that can’t be sustained. Companies are not committed to sustainable jobs or habitats — what they are committed to is short-term corporate profit, and our old-growth forests are the price we are involuntarily paying for that. 

The B.C. Liberal government is continuing to hand over logging rights to large-scale logging companies — basically, the right to convert our public land to tree farms, to devastate our ecosystems and deplete a crucial and unique resource. 

We have seen this happen so many times in history . . . the collapse of the Atlantic cod stocks to name just one instance. 

Will we stand around and watch it happen again?"

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