British Columbia: Something is wrong with claims of Great Bear Rainforest protection

Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) is a way to log forests that is based upon the science of ecosystems and aims to maintain ecological integrity. But a mock form of EBM is now about to be approved for the Great Bear Rainforest which, despite a few improvements, remains more or less logging-as-usual while the province ships raw logs to the hungry market demand of China.

See for the full text of the VWS submission to government

That is the message of the Valhalla Wilderness Society’s review of a draft government Order for EBM on BC’s mid and north coasts. “Thismock EBM would cover about four million hectares of rainforest and salmon streams,” says Anne Sherrod, Chair of the Valhalla Wilderness Society.

“The conclusion of our reviewer, bear biologist Wayne McCrory, is that it is not based on science, it will not protect ecological integrity, it will not protect Spirit Bears or grizzly bears or even common black bears. The term ‘Order’ sounds like a new law, but there appears to be nothing legally enforceable in it. It contains no regulations, only ‘objectives,’ and almost every objective has built-in clauses that allow it to be evaded, diminished or waived. We were glad to see 100% forest retention for class one grizzly bear habitat,” says McCrory. “However, those areas are limited. The creation of the Spirit Bear Conservancy and other protected areas left two-thirds of the Great Bear Rainforest open to logging.

Everyone understood that without drastic forestry reforms, the new protected areas could not maintain their species. Some of the best habitat for Spirit Bears was left out of protection because, we were told, EBM would be brought in to protect them. Instead we find that these EBM objectives allow Spirit Bear habitat to be 70% logged.” “A drastic reduction of the allowable annual cut (AAC) before logging begins is the reality-test for Ecosystem-Based Management,” say VWS director Craig Pettitt.

“There is no mention of reducing the AAC in the Order.
There are no 100% forest retention areas for salmon streams, for
estuaries or other wetlands, only thin strips of forest along streams
that can be partially logged. There can be massive clearcutting
between those strips that would leave only 15% of the trees. There are
no restraints on road-building that would, for instance, prevent roads
from being built on steep, unstable slopes above estuaries and salmon
streams. Without radical improvements, this cannot honestly be called
Ecosystem-Based Management.”

See for the full text of the VWS submission to government

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Comments (2)

pterophileMarch 29th, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Thank you for this sad gem of truth emerging somehow, from the foundation-funded bully-pulpit of sold-out environmental groups. VWS was pushed aside in the foundation-funded-frenzy that produced the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement, and wisely recognized midway, along with the David Suzuki Foundation, that the GBR roundtable was a rigged game complete with insta-green environmental groups suddenly concerned about the Great Bear, foundation proxies out-of-nowhere.

FYI, the same thing is now happening on the Tongass National Forest. It’s called the Tongass Futures Roundtable (TFR) funded dominantly by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation(GBMF), the Campion foundation, and the Wilburforce Foundation. The Nature Conservancy, like GBMF, should be familiar in both locales, which are actually, intimately interconnected, were it not for an arbitrarily delineated international boundary.

That GBMF’s and Nature Conservancy’s power is global in scope, should give all readers of this serious pause — they are the greenwashed face of free market environmentalism– and their ambitions are anything but altruistic.

Ada GrahamJuly 6th, 2012 at 5:23 am

It is to bad that the BC goverment is allowing the logging companies to strip the province of all its beautiful trees.Even in Quesnel BC where I lived for years you can look at the mountains and they are bare so sad. You would think they could leave the rain forest alone. Have they not learned yet what happens when you strip a rain forest.To the fish and animals. Keep it up and BC will no longer have the Spirit Bear that BC can be so proud of.Let the chinese get there logs some where else and save the rain forest.And I think I is horrible that we are sending raw logs to China instead of the finished product lumber. This would give the Canadians more jobs instead of giving the chinese the jobs. the goverment has to give their head a shake. Its time canada looked after there own first

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