377 BC-Canada

Index:

–British Columbia: 1) Today’s the day the timber wars start again? 2) Cont. 3) SE protections for caribou, 4) TimberWest real estate rip-offs, 5) Without sufficient regard for the public interest, 6) 48 municipal and regional govs. demand an end to big timber’s real estate rip-offs, 7) Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition wants to head off total economic collapse, 8) It’s logging as usual, 9) New forest minister’s 4-point strategy out of touch with reality, 10) Using native people to push industry agenda in Clayoquot, 11) Cont. 12) Stop work order for sub-dividing bulldozers in Jordan river, 13) Darkwoods saved! Logging will continue? 14) More on Doyle report, 15) Canada’s West Coast Trail, 16) Mushrooms pickers and loggers meet in Tlell, 17) Release from Tree farm obligations leads to massive increase in logging, 18) Prince George’s largest tree-removal program yet, 19) Queen Elizabeth Park cuts 70 trees & nary a whimper of protest, 20) Save the Leech river, 21) Grave risks to globally rare Douglas fir forests, 22) Web-based maps prepared by the province and local forest companies, 23) More on Jordan river destruction, 24) First Nations forestry trade mission to China,

–Canada: 25) Meeting of the 2010 Biodiversity Indicators Partnership, 26) N.B. gov asked to Stop Exporting! 27) Joggins Fossil Cliffs is a “coal age Galápagos,” 28) Logging not counted by gov as global warming impact, 29) 545 eco-signatures against Ontario’s new Endangered Species Act, 30) Temporary ban on development in and around Nahanni National Park is about to end,

–World-Wide: 31) World Bank routinely overstates its commitment to eco-issues, 32) No greater industry than forest industry when it comes to negative eco-impacts, 33) Proposal from Terrestrial Carbon Group,

Articles:

British Columbia:

1) We could find out as early as today whether one of the most celebrated battlegrounds in B.C. environmental history will play host to a new war in the woods. Environmentalists are threatening the return of blockades and international boycotts unless logging halts in the Hesquiat Point Creek of Clayoquot Sound.The Friends of Clayoquot Sound joined with four other groups — Sierra Club, Greenpeace, the Western Canada Wilderness Committee and Forest Ethics — and mailed their environmental concerns to Coulson Forest Products, setting today as the deadline for a reply before the groups up the ante with blockades or other political actions. In 1993, the eyes of the world were on the sound, where 800 protesters were arrested and hauled away in an ultimately successful bid to slow logging in the environmentally sensitive area. Now, environmentalists are targeting Coulson Forest Products and MaMook Natural Resources — owned by the Ahousaht, Hesquiaht, Ucluelet, Toquaht and Tla-o-qui-aht bands — and promising to ramp up the pressure unless Hesquiat Point Creek is spared. While logging jobs disappeared, the international attention gained enormous free advertising for Tofino, which now sees more than a million visitors a year. The new battle also represents different adversaries. In the 1980s and 1990s, environmentalists and First Nations squared off against logging companies; now, environmentalists are pitted against loggers and their new allies, the First Nations, who have their own forest licence logging contracts. Clayoquot Sound was designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 2000. http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=fdd47925-ae34-44e0-94a3-00838dc0
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2) B.C. could see a return to protests and blockades in world-renowned Clayoquot Sound as a forestry company prepares to log an old-growth forest in the Hesquiat Point Creek watershed — the first time a company has begun logging in such a “pristine” valley in nearly 20 years. And this time, first nations and environmentalists — allies in the 1993 protests — are on opposite sides. Since the early 1990s, forestry companies have continued logging in the sound but have limited their activities to “developed” areas that had already been logged, staying out of about a dozen intact watersheds untouched by human development for more than 10,000 years. But in March, first-nations-owned MaMook Natural Resources Ltd. and their partner Coulson Forest Products began building a logging road into one of those untouched valleys — Hesquiat Point Creek — with plans to start logging as early as this fall. Maryjka Mychajlowycz, a campaigner with Friends of Clayoquot Sound, said if the companies start removing trees, it will be the first logging in an untouched valley since 1991. Mychajlowycz said the valleys are some of the few remaining examples globally of complete ecosystems untouched by humans. “All the environmental groups have been very clear … that these intact valleys are ecologically precious,” she said. “That’s the line in the sand.” In 1993, 800 anti-logging protesters were arrested on blockades set up by the environmental movement, drawing worldwide attention to the region’s old-growth forests. Following those protests, a voluntary moratorium was placed on logging in the sound’s untouched valleys while a scientific panel reviewed how the areas could be logged in an environmentally sustainable way. http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=42fe88e9-704d-4a0f-9bcf-273e4e8ffa3f

3) An endangered population of mountain caribou is expected to be the focus of an announcement today billed as “a conservation initiative of global significance,” and said to involve a large tract of wilderness in southeastern British Columbia. Environment Minister John Baird and John Lounds, president and CEO of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, are to attend a joint news conference at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver for the announcement, which is thought to involve more than 55,000 hectares of private forest land. Neither the government nor officials from the Nature Conservancy would comment, but sources in the Kootenay region said they expect to hear that a huge area of private forest will be set aside. Sources said the Nature Conservancy and the federal government have been seeking “a big chunk of land” to help protect the South Selkirk mountain caribou population, one of 12 endangered herds in B.C. The South Selkirk population is found mostly in the mountains south of Nelson and west of Creston, just above the U.S.-Canada border. The area contains thick forests, alpine meadows and pristine mountain lakes. In a study several years ago, the Valhalla Wilderness Society identified a 55,000-hectare section of private forest land in the area as being “the best of the last wilderness” available anywhere in Southern B.C. “This must be what they got. The Nature Conservancy was negotiating for it. That’s a big chunk of land and it’s very important for mountain caribou,” said a source involved with mountain caribou studies. B.C. has virtually the world’s entire population of mountain caribou, a subspecies of the more widespread woodland caribou, and numbers have been dropping dramatically. Mountain caribou, which are dependent on old-growth forests, have declined by about 25 per cent since 1992, to 1,900 animals. Historically, there were about 10,000. A series of studies in B.C. have identified the fragmentation of habitat as one of the biggest threats to mountain caribou. “There appears little time left to act before options for mountain caribou conservation are ultimately forfeited,” the B.C. Forest Practices Board stated in a 2004 report. “Current science suggests that if older forests continue to be fragmented and mountain caribou continue to be lost to predators, the final opportunity to restore mountain caribou populations in the province will soon be lost.” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080724.wbcland24/BNStory/National/home

4) TimberWest has reached a significant milestone with the completion of the rezoning of 166 hectares of land near the Campbell River airport. The parcel – which is adjacent to the entrance of the airport – is now zoned industrial and will be targeted for a wide variety of potential uses. “We expect local, provincial and even international interest in this property from aerospace, distribution and other industries,” said John Hendry, Vice President, TimberWest Real Estate. “These lands have the benefits of being next to an expanding airport, having utilities in place, and being located in a very cost-competitive location like Campbell River, which itself is part of one of the most attractive destinations in the world – Vancouver Island.” TimberWest was successful in its application to exclude this marginal agricultural land from the Agriculture Land Reserve (ALR) in exchange for putting 480 hectares/acres of higher quality agricultural land into the ALR. “The land that we have added to the ALR has a prime rating of Class 1 to 3, while the land that was excluded had agricultural capability ratings of Class 4 and 5,” added Hendry. “This is an excellent example of how we can use our landholdings to increase the ALR and make available greenfield sites for industrial development that brings with it new jobs, infrastructure and investment.” Today’s announcement is the culmination of three years of work and owes a significant amount to the due diligence of the ALC’s process and TimberWest’s close working relationship with the City of Campbell River. http://www.islandlife.tv/?p=172

5) Here is a quote directly from the report by John Doyle, Auditor General: “Overall, the report concludes that the removal of private land from TFLs 6, 19 and 25 was approved without sufficient regard for the public interest. The report notes that: the decision was not adequately informed — it was based upon incomplete information that focused primarily on forest and range matters and the interests of the licensee, with too little consideration given to the potential impacts on other key stakeholders; consultation was not effective and communication with key stakeholders and the public about the decision was not transparent; and the impacts of previous land removal decisions were not monitored to help inform future decisions.” Much media attention has been given to the land around Jordan River, just west of Sooke, where 28,273 hectares of land was taken out of the publicly owned tree farm by the Ministry of Forests and given to WFP without any financial compensation. However that only accounts for lands privatized within TFL25 while lands privatized in the other TFLs have gone mostly unnoticed. TFL19 is much larger and is located around Gold River, Tahsis, and Zeballas while TFL6 lands are located around Port McNeil, Port Alice, Coal Harbour, and Winter Harbour. The market value of ocean side property in these areas will equal massive profits for WFP and will alter the landscape forever. The intention of the Tree Farm License system was to legally bind the timber to the land so that logging companies would be obliged to provide work in those areas for generations to come. The spiraling downturn in the forestry industry is as a direct result of these obligations being altered by the current BC government. Raw log exports, mill closures, and privatization of land are allowing logging companies to profit without putting back into local communities for the future. At the heart of this controversy is the fact that Minister Rich Colman’s older brother, Stan Coleman, works for Western Forest Products where he is their Manager of Strategic Planning. Public outcry has been growing since this story first surfaced. As a result, Premier Campbell shuffled Rich Coleman from his cabinet position as the Minister of Forests, Range, and Housing to the Ministry of Housing and Social Development on June 23, 2008. –Richard Boyce – Islands Lens #105

6) In a letter obtained by The Globe and Mail, a group representing 48 municipal and regional governments is calling on the Premier to review his government’s decision to significantly deregulate forestry on 20,000 hectares of private timberlands on Vancouver Island by removing them from the tree-farm license system. “Local governments on Vancouver Island have expressed profound concerns that these lands were removed without adequate consultation,” states the July 17 letter from Barry Janyk, president of the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities. Mr. Janyk, who is also the mayor of Gibsons, said the issue is generating anger well beyond the affected communities. “The provincial government ignores local government at their peril,” he said. “An attack on one constituency is an attack on everyone. … They are playing with fire.” Earlier this month, B.C. Auditor-General John Doyle found the most recent deal, worth $150-million to Western Forest Products, was made without due regard for the public interest. Mr. Doyle said the government should have examined the impact of previous changes before granting the request of Western Forest Products, paving the way for an ambitious real-estate project around Jordan River despite opposition from the regional government. Jordan River is a tiny community between Sooke and Port Renfrew.The largest of the previous changes took place four years ago in the Port Alberni valley, where almost 90,000 hectares of land were removed from managed tree-farm licences. Port Alberni Mayor Ken McRae said the change, which he learned of only after the deal was signed, has had an impact on the city’s water supply and on jobs. He’s disturbed by the amount of waste wood being left on the privately managed forest lands, which he sees as lost jobs for his struggling community. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080728.BCTREES28/TPStory/TPNational/BritishC
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7) In a report released yesterday, the Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition called on the federal and provincial governments to help the area head off a total economic collapse in which mills could close, 4,000 jobs could be lost and entire communities could face depopulation as people leave in search of work. Donna Barnett, 100 Mile House mayor and coalition chair, said that with government help the area hopes it can avoid the worst-case scenario. “What we’re looking at is getting beyond that,” she said of predictions of what could happen if the forest industry has a meltdown and there is no plan to mitigate damage. “We know we’ll have a forest industry, we just don’t know what it will look like,” Ms. Barnett said. “With this blueprint, we believe we can soften the blow quite a bit.” Ms. Barnett said the Cariboo-Chilcotin “is in unknown territory” in trying to figure out how to deal with the pine-beetle epidemic. But she believes that with proper planning the region can survive. She said Community Development Minister Blair Lekstrom accepted the executive summary of the 3,000-page report yesterday and promised a response within 30 to 60 days. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080723.wbcbeetle23/BNStory/National/?page=r
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8) The lamentations began even before B.C.’s sweeping report on the state of its natural environment was released last week. The usual leaks from organized critic groups to friendly media laid the spin down for the city folks: nice scientific work and pretty maps but no endangered species law, so it’s logging as usual. The poster animals for the environmental movement are well known: spotted owl, mountain caribou. A closer look at those reveals the complexity of the issues involved. Spotted owl habitat was set aside in 1997, but despite that the numbers in B.C. have fallen so low that a captive breeding program was set up. Green activists say ‘it’s the logging, stupid,’ but in fact one of the key problems found in a decade of intensive study is that the owls haven’t chosen to occupy some of the protected areas. One reason is barred owls pushing them out. And it’s not often mentioned that B.C. is actually the extreme northern fringe of continent-long natural range for spotted owls. Shifting protected areas is one delicate issue ahead; “managing” barred owls is another. That will be criticized by the same activists who give this species disproportionate attention. Mountain caribou are probably B.C.’s most intensively studied animals, and here at least we have most of the world population. Key areas were protected in 2007 after the population fell below 2,000 and two small herds disappeared, but land clearing has shifted the whole predator-prey balance, and B.C. is now resorting to “managing” cougars and wolves and relocating herds to maintain viable breeding populations. http://forestaction.wordpress.com/2008/07/19/protecting-species-is-everyone%e2%80%99s-job/

9) After taking over the forestry portfolio a month ago, Prince George-North MLA and Forest and Range Minister Pat Bell has developed a four-point strategy. And he says rural B.C. can really benefit from it. “This is about incorporating new products and markets with old,” Bell said Wednesday. Bell’s four key themes are based on a month of traveling around the province, meeting with industry executives, First Nations, silviculturalists and union leaders. “Everywhere I went, everyone I talked to, they all say we need to send the same message – ‘forestry is here to stay and it does have a strong future,’” he said. The plan points to the need for reforestation incentives. Bell said industry is really good at “making round logs into flat boards,” but need to turn their attention to growing and planting the tiny saplings. Bell highlighted the need to improve utilization standards, stating he knows firsthand there’s product waste. “We need to capture full utilization,” he said. “We need to minimize waste.” Number three and four on Bell’s list are the opportunities of Chinese market expansion and breaking into the wood construction of commercial institutions. http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/25925789.html

10) The fragile economies of five first nations in Clayoquot Sound would be dealt a crippling blow if major environmental groups go ahead with plans to disrupt logging this summer. “Every time we start to get on our feet, someone wants to knock us off,” said John Frank, deputy chief of the Ahousaht Nation. Native-run logging companies provide the only meaningful employment left in many of the villages scattered throughout the sound, he said. “Our economic engine has died, that was the fishery,” he said. “We had 140 fishboats with three men to each boat.” When the fishing economy collapsed, unemployment shot from 10 per cent to 70 per cent, he explained. Local first nations have founded their own logging companies to ensure their people benefit from the bounty of their land. Frank said it should be up to the owners and the stewards of the land to manage those resources and first nations are no longer willing to be bullied by outsiders who want to tell them how to manage their affairs, and that includes governments, multinational corporations and environmental groups. Environmental groups have set a July 28 deadline — next Monday — to obtain an agreement with logging companies for a two-year moratorium on logging in pristine valleys of the remote region on the west coast of Vancouver Island. http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/westcoastnews/story.html?id=9414d9b5-a2fe-4a80-87d0-f91
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11) Environmental groups have set a July 29 deadline to obtain an agreement with logging companies and the provincial government to halt logging permanently in the old-growth forests of Clayoquot Sound before they execute their “Plan B” — a campaign of disruption. “The activist landscape has changed a lot, and with the Internet we can take this fight global and into the marketplace in a heartbeat,” said Valerie Langer of environmental group Forest Ethics. The groups, which include Greenpeace, Forest Ethics and the Wilderness Committee, have not yet met with the companies that plan to begin logging in an untouched watershed this fall or with the provincial government to discuss their demands. In March, first nations-owned logging company MaMook Natural Resources and its partner Coulson Forest Products began cutting trees to build a logging road into the Hesquiat Point Creek watershed. Construction was halted in May when environmentalists complained about the incursion into pristine forest. No old-growth forest has been cut in Clayoquot Sound since 1991. Greenpeace hopes to influence governments and consumers around the world and suggested the taint could engulf the entire province, according to spokeswoman Stephanie Goodwin. Forests Minister Pat Bell dismissed the July 29 deadline, saying it is not the role of the province to interfere with local land-use decisions and that logging is taking place within very strict guidelines. http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=ba4800cf-2dba-47b5-bbdd-b5d7519b3bbe

12) Western Forest Products has been told to stop building roads around Jordan River and Shirley in an area the company wants to subdivide. The Capital Regional District has sent a letter to the forest company saying the road building contravenes development permit rules. Bob Lapham, CRD planning manager, said the main concerns are steep slopes and environmentally sensitive areas. “They cannot alter the land without permits,” he said. No reply has yet been received from the company and, if they persist with the work without applying for permits, the CRD will go to court, Lapham said. WFP has applied to the provincial Highways Ministry approving officer to build 319 acreages in the oceanfront and ocean-view areas of Vancouver Island’s southwest corner. The land was formerly private forestland included in a tree farm licence, but last year former forests minister Rich Coleman gave WFP permission to pull private lands out of the TFL. The company then put the land on the market and provisionally sold it to developer Ender Ilkay. But after a public outcry, the CRD rezoned the former forestry and resource lands to 120-hectare minimum lot sizes. The controversial subdivision application takes advantage of a delay in the province approving the new CRD zoning bylaws. The delay allowed WFP to apply under the old rules, with one year to obtain subdivision approval and complete preliminary layout work. That 12-month period is up in April. WFP chief operating officer Duncan Kerr has said that roads are being built only in areas where they can be used for logging if the subdivision application is turned down.
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=d9a1493c-fc4a-4b36-bb3a-0544f990
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13) Darkwoods, a spectacular 55,000-hectare sweep of mountains, forest, streams and more than 50 lakes in the Kootenay region, has been bought for $125-million by Nature Conservancy Canada, with help from the federal government. The land – prowled by 30 to 40 grizzly bears, wolf packs, moose and an endangered herd of mountain caribou – was bought by His Royal Highness Duke Carl Herzog von Wurttemberg 40 years ago, on the eve of the Soviet takeover of Czechoslovakia that left Europe shaken. The Nature Conservancy of Canada announced on Thursday that it bought Darkwoods, 550 square kilometres of remote valleys, mountains and lakes in south-central British Columbia. (Nature Conservancy of Canada) “The duke bought it in 1967 as a safe haven for his family. It was the height of the Cold War and the Russian tanks were rolling through Prague and it looked like Germany was not a safe place to stay. So he acquired the property as an escape for his family,” said Christian Schadendorf, general manager of Darkwoods Forestry. “Why did the duke decide to sell? He’s over 70 years old now, the Cold War is history, it’s safe to live in Germany for now and there are increasing risks and costs associated with climate change on the property,” he said. “The beetle infestation has hit us hard, just like everywhere else in B.C., and there’s way more frequent forest fires occurring … but the final straw was the regional district decided to increase property taxes by 35 per cent.” The property, which lies on the west side of the south arm of Kootenay Lake, was part of a land grant to the Nelson & Fort Sheppard Railway in 1897. It went through several owners before the duke bought it and set up Darkwoods Forestry. Although Darkwoods has been extensively logged, with some 55,000 cubic metres removed annually, forest crews have operated under strict instructions to “take care of the land” first. As a result, Darkwoods has remained in remarkably good shape ecologically, with 50 per cent of the area still wilderness, virgin forests with trees more than 500 years old and a diversity of wildlife, some of which are remarkably unafraid of humans because there has been no hunting allowed for 40 years. Mr. Schadendorf, a forest economist who immigrated to Canada from Germany in 1994, and two professional foresters have been hired by Nature Conservancy Canada to help manage the land. He said logging will continue but the focus will be on environmental management, not profit, and mostly will involve removing trees attacked by pine beetles. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080724.wBC-park25/BNStory/National/?page=rs
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14) John Doyle is BC’s new Auditor General. His report on removing private land from tree farm licenses <http://bcauditor.com/pubs/subject/forestry.asp> is so hot that it is still smoking. In the course of preparing it, he put a complaint before the BC Securities Commissions regarding unusual trading in Western Forest Products, as well as a complaint before the Conflict of Interest Commissioner regarding potential conflict of interest under the terms of the Members’ Conflict of Interest Act. The release of 28,000 hectares of private land from three coastal tree farm licenses held by Western Forest Products occurred on January 31, 2007 when Rich Coleman was the responsible minister. Coleman has been shuffled to a new super-ministry. If the CBC website <http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2008/07/16/bc-tree-farm-report.html> is correct, his successor, Pat Bell used exceptionally harsh and undiplomatic language to personally attack the Auditor. The CBC site quotes Bell as saying: “It is, in my view, unprofessional – lacking of integrity. We are offended by this report. We think it is totally inappropriate and if Mr. Doyle thinks that this is how we do business in Canada, he’s dead wrong.” Bell’s comment refers to Doyle’s Australian origin from where he was recruited and unanimously selected by an all party committee of MLAs, a majority of whom were government MLAs. It is traditional for ministers to simply thank the Auditor for his report and commit to doing better. I cannot find another example in BC history of a minister personally attacking the Auditor General. In describing his report in a three page covering letter, Doyle wrote: “Overall, the report concludes that the removal of private land from TFLs 6, 19 and 25 was approved without sufficient regard for the public interest. The report notes that: 1) “the decision was not adequately informed – it was based upon incomplete information that focused primarily on forest and range matters and the interests of the licensee, with too little consideration given to the potential impacts on other key stakeholders; 2) “consultation was not effective and communication with key stakeholders and the public about the decision was not transparent; and 3) “the impacts of previous land removal decisions were not monitored to help inform future decisions.” http://www.StrategicThoughts.com

15) The next, seconds later, seems a lot closer as I lie unprotected in a bivvy sack. Then another, and another, thwack, thwack, thwack. I yell to the guides who have camped a few metres away on slightly higher ground and are packing away their bivvy sacks for another day on Canada’s West Coast Trail, “Hey, that’s a bit close for comfort. Do you want me to get up?” “It’s not us,” they protest. “It’s a squirrel.” Thwack, thwack, thwack. By now cones are landing on my bivvy sack and I grab a hat to protect my head. A spruce cone is light with papery scales, the shuttlecock of the cone world, but these things are falling from 60m above and they sound like rocks landing. I pack quickly while cones rain down. Eventually the barrage ceases; the bare ground around my campsite looks like a squirrel lolly scramble, which in a way is what it is. Having got the cones as far as the ground, the squirrel’s next move is to gather them up and safely store them for the coming winter. I am an intruder and it seems only fair to help, so my last act before I leave the forest to join the crew for breakfast on the foreshore is to gather up cones and leave them in a tidy pile. That squirrel is probably still boasting about the accuracy of his bombing. I first came across this Canadian trail a few years ago in a book on the great treks of the world. The West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, was one of only two assigned to the whole of North America. This is a region with a richly interesting indigenous culture, a fascinating history of European exploration (read Jonathan Raban’s Passage to Juneau for a quick fix), intriguing flora and fauna (with bears on top of the list) and the most bizarre weather and tidal patterns when warm Pacific Ocean currents meet a cold landmass. There are not many trekking trails that demand you carry tide tables but it is appropriate on the West Coast Trail because it owes its existence to the region’s perverse weather (220cm of rain a year) and extraordinary tidal variation and strong currents. Ships sailing north to Alaska, and home again, along the Juan de Fuca Strait on the west coast of Vancouver Island, faced the twin perils of impenetrable fog and rocks and reefs suddenly exposed by a tide that recedes faster than a ship can sail out of harm’s way. Since 1854, more than 60 ships have come to grief on the jagged coast. http://links.org.au/node/522

16) A large group of mushroom harvesters, concerned about how BC Timber Sales’ plans will affect a prime picking area, met in Tlell Monday night (July 14) with BCTS staff.
The meeting, organized by Lynda Dixon of the Haida Gwaii Local Foods Processing Cooperative, attracted about 30 islanders. Enrique Sanchez, planning forester for the Chinook business area, told the group that BC Timber Sales plans to develop 30 cutblocks in the Skidegate and Mosquito Lake areas over the next 10 years. The wood, second-growth hemlock and spruce, is located in the same area as some of the islands’ most popular and accessible chanterelle picking spots. Mr. Sanchez displayed a map of the area with the proposed cutblocks outlined in different colours, with known chanterelle-producing areas and potential mushroom habitat also marked. The information on the map came from a preliminary mushroom study, he said, and he is interested in more precise information from the pickers about where the chanterelles are growing now and whether there are areas which have stopped being productive, to further refine logging plans. The Skidegate Lake and Mosquito Lake cutblocks will be selectively harvested rather than clearcut, Mr. Sanchez added, and harvesting will meet the new eco-system based management standards. But several members of the public asked why the area has to be harvested at all, and warned that any kind of tree cutting could be bad for the mushrooms. “You seem to be coming from the view that this area needs to be harvested,” one man said. “Why is this area begging to be logged? I don’t understand.” Mr. Sanchez said that BC Timber Sales is mandated to harvest a certain amount of volume, and that the Skidegate/Mosquito Lake area is one which it inherited through the Tree Farm Licence “takeback” a few years ago. “Stands in the area are between 50 and 60 years old and are of commercially viable size,” he said. However, he admitted that there does not seem to be much of a market for this wood at the moment. BC Timber Sales has already advertised four sales in the area which did not attract any bids. http://www.qciobserver.com/Article.aspx?Id=3388

17) Logging rates increase dramatically on private lands taken out of tree farm licences, says a report released yesterday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Hot on the heels of an auditor general’s report which blasted former forests minister Rich Coleman for allowing Western Forest Products to remove 28,000 hectares of private land from tree farm licences on Vancouver Island, the CCPA report says logging rates and land sales spike immediately after such decisions. When private lands are included in TFLs they are subject to more stringent logging rules. In return, the companies are given access to Crown timber. Resource policy analyst Ben Parfitt, author of the CCPA study, said there are clear examples of unsustainable cutting on former TFL lands on Vancouver Island, where, unlike the rest of the province, almost one-quarter of forest land is in private hands — most of it controlled by WFP, TimberWest and Island Timberlands. Rare Douglas fir ecosystems are being destroyed and public values, such as water, are not being protected, Parfitt said. “Such disturbing trends highlight why B.C. needs a private forestland reserve, similar to the Agricultural Land Reserve, which would allow governments to ensure private forestlands are managed in the public interest,” he said. WFP chief operating officer Duncan Kerr counters that all the company’s private lands, including those withdrawn from TFLs in the latest government decision, are being logged sustainably. http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=9f07a263-7dde-4478-8ea1-ca0c9fcd
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18) Prince George – City hall is in the process of completing the finishing touches on plans for the largest tree-removal program yet. An exact date is still to be set, but city’s urban forester, Kim Menounos, expects a contractor will start work on Forests for the World by the first week in August. Over the following year, the aim is to clear the dead pine from over 100 hectares to improve safety for park users and to reduce the chance of out-of-control wildfires. “We’re doing this work to prevent a major fire from taking out the whole park,” she said. “We’re trying to catch up on some management and preserve the park in as natural a state as possible without losing it.” The work will begin on the eastern side because that’s where most of the higher-use trails are located and because it’s easiest to access. “The eastern half is the most used so the longer we leave it, the more chance there is that something could happen to a visitory,” Menounos said, noting Shane Lake and a picnic area are located on that side. The previous largest project was Moore’s Meadow, where more than 7,000 trees. “There will be a lot more pine coming out of Forest for the World because the total treatment area for Moore’s Meadow was probably one third, or just under a half, of what will be happening in Forests for the World,” Menounos said. “It’s a different scale but I think in terms of the final product, what you see in Moore’s Meadow is what we’re aiming for in Forests for the World.” All told, she expects 10,500 cubic metres of timber will be taken out. The city is allowed to remove up to 12,000 cubic metres under its licence. http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/20080718141841/local/news/forests-for-the-world-next-on-pine
-removal-list.html

19) For all the buzz about chainsaws entering Queen Elizabeth Park, 70 trees were chopped down yesterday with nary a whimper from protesters. “There’s a couple of ladies that came up with a sign but they didn’t stay very long,” said park supervisor Alex Downie. “I’m surprised there weren’t more.” Last week, the Vancouver Park Board voted 4-2 in favour of a plan to remove the trees from Queen Elizabeth Park and restore its views of downtown Vancouver. Despite the fact 140 trees will be planted across the park to make up for those removed, the plan angered many residents. Two dozen showed up at last week’s park board meeting to voice their dissent. “We had a lot of protests leading up to this. The local opposition was quite vehement and vocal, but overall there was support for what we were trying to do,” Mr. Downie said. Crews began cutting down the trees just after 7 a.m. and were done within a few hours. The cleanup process is expected to last between 10 and 14 days. Many of the logs will be cut into firewood and left for nearby residents. Branches will be turned into mulch and used throughout the park. Mr. Downie said the trees that came down were victims of poor planning by the Canadian Forestry Association in the 1950s. “[The CFA] chose the wrong kind of tree because in time they grew up to block the view. We don’t believe it was the intent of the original landscapers to obstruct the view with trees.” A group of tourists who visited the park yesterday morning were left raving about the vista. “Trimming the trees is better because you see the view,” said Stella Symeonidou of Cyprus. “If I came up here and there were lots of trees, what’s the point of coming up here?” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080718.BCVIEW18/TPStory/National

20) The watershed is scarred by clear-cuts. More than 20 landslides, many triggered by logging, mark the steep gulley leading to the Leech River. Last summer, the Capital Regional District spent nearly $60-million buying the valley from TimberWest Forest Corp. and is now preparing to spend more to restore the watershed to something that mimics the original forest. It will take decades to restore the watershed to the point that it can provide clean drinking water, estimates Jack Hull, the CRD’s general manager for water services. “We are taking a long-term view,” he said yesterday. “We could be looking at 30 or more years.” With growing development pressures on the island, similar conflicts over private timberlands were highlighted this week when Auditor-General John Doyle assailed the former forests minister for a decision on the forestry land base just west of the Leech River watershed. In a study released this week, Mr. Parfitt found that logging rates increased dramatically once land was taken out of TFL controls. Companies pay less in taxes and royalties on strictly private lands, and are subject to fewer restrictions to sell raw logs for export. (Virtually all of the private TFL lands have been wiped out since 1999. There are just a few pockets left on Vancouver Island and in the Kootenays, a total of about 17,000 hectares.) “I think the Leech River watershed is a good example of where the public interest is impacted negatively by logging rates and methods on private lands,” Mr. Parfitt said. His report calls for reforms of private forest land regulations to ensure sustainable harvests. “If we had proper rules in place we wouldn’t be out of pocket for the Leech watershed.” Conflicts over logging on private forestry lands are particularly acute on Vancouver Island because a high ratio of the island is in private hands. On the mainland, about 95 per cent of the province is publicly owned. On Vancouver Island, nearly a quarter of the land is in private hands. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080719.BCTREEFARM19/TPStory/National

21) Logging rates and forestland sales by the three largest private forestland owners on southern Vancouver Island pose grave risks to globally rare Douglas fir forests and to the region’s livability, says a study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The study finds that in key cases logging rates and land sales spiked following provincial government decisions favoring the companies. “Last year’s controversial decision by then Forests Minister Rich Coleman to allow Western Forest Products to pull its private forestlands out of its Tree Farm Licenses is proving disastrous for Island residents,” says Ben Parfitt, a resource policy analyst with the CCPA’s BC office, and author of the study. “Loggers and environmentalists alike opposed the move and with good reason. Since then, WFP has accelerated its logging of fir forests and placed thousands of hectares of forestland on the auction block for sale to real estate developers. The CCPA study comes in the wake of a report by BC’s Auditor General that found Coleman’s decision was made “without sufficient regard for the public interest.” When private lands are bundled with public lands in Tree Farm Licenses, all lands are to be managed on a sustainable basis as forestlands. Because private forestlands within TFLs are designated as “managed forestlands” they cannot be sold for other purposes and are assessed at low tax rates. Restoring the Public Good on Private Forestlands looks specifically at logging rates, wood waste levels, log exports and proposed land sales on private forestlands owned by WFP, TimberWest and Island Timberlands. http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/July2008/17/c5442.html

22) ANYONE CURIOUS about what areas could be logged in the next years are welcome to check out a series of web-based maps prepared by the province and local forest companies. The idea is to display as best as possible potential logging areas so that people who have concerns can contact the right companies and agencies, says the forester who helped put the package together. “You could call it a one-stop reference document,” said Rick Brouwer of Northwest Timberlands. What it also does is provide information not readily accessible under a new way of how companies get licences to log. Roads and logging blocks aren’t on any maps prepared for licence approvals, for example. And with logging plans valid for five years, local companies and agencies thought it would be a good idea to provide maps of areas. “What we talked about was how do we find a way to engage people,” Brouwer added. “This now gives people that opportunity.” Before a person with a question or issue might have needed to call several companies to find which one was responsible for a logging plan. Brouwer did note that the areas of potential activity are not exact logging block boundaries and remain, at least for the moment, places which could be logged in the next years. The Kalum Forest District is hosting the maps on its website. Brouwer said this is the only area of the province to assemble and make available maps of this kind. The project came out of the Kalum Forest District Steering Committee which is made up of local companies, the Kalum forest district and B.C. Timber Sales, the provincially-owned company which puts up timber for sale.Those wishing to check out the maps should connect to: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/dkm/pfdaa/pfdaa.htmhttp://www.bclocalnews.com/bc_north/terracestandard/business/25383584.html

23) JORDAN RIVER — Sealed inside the cab of his massive hydraulic driller, Ron Vanderkhove was intent yesterday on making a deep, narrow puncture in solid rock. “It’s a boring job – loud and dirty,” he said as he took a short break from drilling holes for explosives. The main perk is the view. Mr. Vanderkhove’s driller was resting on a peak overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca, 350 metres below. In every other direction, he could stare out at forested crests and valleys. Mr. Vanderkhove is working for Western Forest Products, but this assignment has nothing to do with logging. Last year, the company realized some of its timberlands were worth more as real estate. He’s now part of a team of forest workers who have turned their talents to laying out future subdivisions. The proposed developments would put a price on the view but are mired in controversy. Many residents of the surrounding communities along this southern stretch of Vancouver Island’s west coast oppose the development of forestry land, fearing it will ruin their rural lifestyle. A lifelong resident of nearby Sooke, Mr. Vanderkhove scorns the critics. “There’s nothing in Jordan River that can’t be bulldozed,” he said. “We need sustainable growth.” When did the biggest lumber company on the West Coast become a land-management company that just happens to do forestry? Duncan Kerr, chief operating officer for Western Forest Products, said the shift in thinking came about 18 months ago. Not only is the industry suffering a prolonged downturn, but real-estate values on Vancouver Island have skyrocketed. To top it off, there were running battles over logging in the region between Sooke and Jordan River. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080716.wbctreefarm16/BNStory/National/home

24) The first-ever B.C. First Nations forestry trade mission to China has been called a success by its participants, resulting, the participants say, in indications that Chinese companies are interested in pursuing forestry and also mining opportunities. “We have the wood, and a workforce in need of jobs — unemployment is as high as 85 per cent in some of our communities,” said Ed John, a grand chief of the Tl’azt’en Nation and an executive of the B.C. First Nations Summit. “China has the need for our products, and the resources to work with us to establish production and deliver capabilities,” said John, who grew up in the Northern Interior and now lives in Vancouver. John acknowledged there is more work to be done — the First Nations’ delegates were not representing individual companies — but he is optimistic this first foray could lead to a concrete relationship between First Nations in B.C. and Chinese companies. John noted that B.C. First Nations hold 155 forestry licences totalling up to an annual timber harvest of more than 13.5 million cubic metres, about 300,000 logging truck loads of logs. Many of those licences are not being utilized as First Nations struggle with a litany of challenges: high Crown timber fees, poor local log markets, a lack of access to capital and small harvesting volumes. Recently, one Northern Interior First Nation took its case to the provincial government, saying it would lose money if it logged its licence. http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/20080715141189/local/news/green-party-wades-into-forestry-de
bate.html

Canada:

25) The second meeting of the 2010 Biodiversity Indicators Partnership (BIP) was held at the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montréal, Canada from the 25-26 June 2008. This meeting was crucial for determining the progress of the Partnership, as well as clarifying the expectations for the Partnership over the next two years in the run up to the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 10). More than 30 participants from major biodiversity-related conventions, initiatives and networks attended the meeting. A variety of subjects were discussed by the numerous Indicator Partners including progress in developing the suite of 2010 BIP indicators and the linkages of indicators between focal areas. Future opportunities were identified for various Partnership products, including the contribution of the 2010 BIP to the 3rd edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-3). The meeting also focused on the work of the BIP post 2010 and the further development of national and regional linkages. The latter will ensure that biodiversity indicators are widely used in broader policy initiatives and by national governments. For more information, see the 2010 BIP website: http://www.twentyten.net

26) The Conservation Council is calling on the N.B. government to immediately stop exports of raw timber from the public forest after learning that the province’s three largest license holders – Fraser Papers, UPM Kymmene and J.D. Irving – have been given permission to export wood from their Crown licenses. The government has exempted the companies from a clause in the Crown Lands and Forests Act that states that companies with licenses to cut wood from Crown land must process the wood in that region. Meeting the wood allocations of the sub-licensees operating on Crown land is the reason being used to justify the exports. In light of this, the Conservation Council is calling on the government to enforce selective cutting to supply the needs of the sub-licensees. Trees should be left standing to provide wildlife habitat. Trees should also be allowed to grow to a volume that provides a higher quality resource for local communities. Since only select tree species of certain grades and sizes are marketable at the moment then selective cutting only makes sense. Clearcutting and conversion to plantations simplifies our forest and destroys future opportunities for benefits from a diverse forest economy. “By exporting raw logs, we lose the opportunity to infuse our forest resources with our own labour. We are exporting New Brunswickers’ jobs while increasing the burden on our forests. Continuing to clearcut on Crown land for export is merely forest liquidation and is not a practice of any sane forest management. Forest management needs to change if we are to have any healthy and diverse forest stands in this province,” stated Tracy Glynn, Acadian Forest Campaign co-ordinator at the Conservation Council. http://bugleobserver.canadaeast.com/editorial/article/364655

27) The Joggins Fossil Cliffs, a 689-hectare palaeontological site along the coast of Nova Scotia have been described as the “coal age Galápagos” due to their wealth of fossils from the Carboniferous period (354 to 290 million years ago). The rocks of this site are considered to be iconic for this period of the history of Earth and are the world’s thickest and most comprehensive record of the Pennsylvanian strata (dating back 318 to 303 million years) with the most complete known fossil record of terrestrial life from that time. These include the remains and tracks of very early animals and the rainforest in which they lived, left in situ, intact and undisturbed. With its 14.7 kilometres of sea cliffs, low bluffs, rock platforms and beach, the site groups remains of three ecosystems: estuarine bay, floodplain rainforest and fire-prone forested alluvial plain with freshwater pools. It offers the richest assemblage known of the fossil life in these three ecosystems with 96 genera and 148 species of fossils and 20 footprint groups. The site is listed as containing outstanding examples representing major stages in the history of Earth. http://www.canadianarchitect.com/issues/ISArticle.asp?id=87340&issue=07202008

28) There’s a calculation the Ontario government doesn’t do when awarding a logging licence in the old growth Boreal Forest: It doesn’t ask about the impact on global warming. In particular, it doesn’t ask about the impact over the next 20 years. Given the galloping rate at which temperatures are increasing in the north, this omission is foolhardy at best; derelict at worst. It doesn’t matter what computer projections show about forest regeneration over 100 years. If global warming isn’t curbed, it won’t matter. The path of global warming over the next 20 years will determine the future. As it happens, there’s a perfect example of the problem about 250 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, where harvesting of old growth has commenced in the 10,876 square kilometre Ogoki Forest, the farthest north in Ontario that logging has occurred. With help from the Wildlands League, I’ve tried to calculate the impact of what has already been cut. My figures are rough estimates, and if issue is to be taken with them, please blame me, not the Wildlands League. About 500 square kilometres of the Ogoki have been logged, and the bottom line is that, over the next 20 years, this will produce about 60 per cent more carbon dioxide than new growth will remove. This net emission of CO2 is equivalent to what 218,644 average cars would emit in a year – a total of 1.03 million tonnes of CO2. If the old growth were left intact, there would be no net emissions of CO2. Old growth in the boreal takes up slightly more carbon dioxide than is released. It’s not as if Ontario is so short of standing timber that the Ogoki has to be logged. There are plenty of areas where the forest had been cut and second-growth trees are ready for harvesting. In those areas, as contrasted to old growth, cutting and replanting keeps CO2 emissions fairly close to a balance. Many of these second-growth areas are not being logged, because the downturn in the forestry industry has caused so many mill closures. But – and it’s a big but – logging licences are held in these already-impacted areas, and the companies that hold them are not about to give them up so that another company, which has a mill to supply, can come in and harvest the trees. It’s a classic case of the devastating power of the status quo. Unless challenged, once again it’s going to do environmental damage. But it can be challenged if Queen’s Park has the will. http://www.thestar.com/News/article/467687

29) When the Ontario Forestry Coalition handed over a petition with 545 signatures against the implementation of the new provincial Endangered Species Act last week, 30 environmental organizations led by ForestEthics countered with a petition of their own to government. The environmentalists then took the fight to market. They’re lobbying the 200 largest consumers of paper to cease purchasing wood from Ontario’s Northwest unless forest companies are willing to certify under a stringent management standard known as the Forest Stewardship Council. As the major holder of land use rights in the region, Abitibi’s direction has traditionally been under another certification called the Canadian Standards Association. Forestry manager Ontario for AbitibiBowater, Rick Rose knows ForestEthics and the environmental coalition working with them very well. As Abitibi and Bowater’s businesses merge together, the giant’s corporate policy on certification is uncertain. Bowater has its forests certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, which represents 90,011,331 acres in 52 Canadian forests. The company is currently reviewing policies for synergies to see whether the entire outfit will convert to Sustainable Forestry Initiative or stay with the Canadian Standards Association. Should the environmental lobby be successful in altering the demands of the marketplace, Rose and his team are keeping their eyes on the Forest Stewardship Council, whose boreal region certification policy will undergo a review in the coming year. http://www.kenoradailyminerandnews.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1117087

30) OTTAWA–A treasure trove of untapped northern resources could be up for grabs later this year when a temporary ban on development in one of Canada’s most rugged and beautiful national reserves expires, an environmental group says. The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society warns industry could descend on the Nahanni National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories and stake claims when the interim ban ends in October unless the federal government permanently grants the park protected status. “There’s certainly concern that without the final boundaries drawn and protected, staking could resume,” said society spokesperson Ellen Adelberg. Environment Minister John Baird said he’s confident the government will finish the process to permanently protect the Nahanni before the interim development ban expires. He cites lengthy consultations and assessments as reasons for the delay. “We’ve established all these processes to stop bad things from happening to the environment. And when you want something good to happen, you still have to go through all these processes, which can be time-consuming and can be frustrating,” he said. “But we’re committed to a massive expansion of the Nahanni National Park.” Then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau originally set aside the Nahanni in 1972 to protect it from proposed hydroelectric development after he was struck by the area’s rugged beauty. A mighty river meanders through craggy canyons, plunging in thunderous plumes at mammoth waterfalls along the way. Wolves, grizzly bears, lynx and woodland caribou roam the dense boreal forest. The United Nations later designated the area as a world heritage site in 1978. At first, only 5,000 square kilometres were protected. Over the years, Ottawa has granted protected status to a swath of reserve surrounding the park. The first expansion came in 2003, when the Dehcho First Nations gave Parks Canada temporary protection of an additional 23,000 square kilometres in the area through an interim land-withdrawal process. The reserve’s boundaries grew again last summer when Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced another 5,400 square kilometres of land would be barred from further development. All told, the park and reserve now encompass an area that’s nearly five times the size of Prince Edward Island. http://register.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/462648

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