Nuu-chah-nulth Territory
September 21, 2015 2:48 PM   Subscribe

In 2014, flagging tape was discovered in the old-growth forest of the central Walbran Valley that concerned citizens feared were marking out proposed cutblocks - but the logging company, Teal Jones, denied having any logging plans in the area. Then in 2015, Wilderness Committee Vancouver Island Campaigner Torrance Coste obtained maps from the company showing that they were indeed planning to log eight cutblocks of ancient forest surrounding the iconic Castle Grove. Now the fight is on to save the Walbran Valley's remaining ancient forests. Meanwhile on the nearby Sunshine Coast, protesters have blocked roads into old-growth cutblocks, prompting speculation of a War in the Woods part 2.
posted by mannequito (20 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
posted by lalochezia at 2:56 PM on September 21, 2015

what no. no. stop it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:06 PM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

For real. If there's a hill worth fighting on this is it. Once these are gone, they are gone forever. Humans need to put some goddamn limits on their greed.
posted by Annika Cicada at 3:10 PM on September 21, 2015 [7 favorites]

I'm kinda surprised they'd even be allowed to do this.
posted by GuyZero at 3:12 PM on September 21, 2015

I'm confused. Cutting down ancient old-growth forest sounds grossly illegal.

Any Canadians want to help me out with this?
posted by Avenger at 3:14 PM on September 21, 2015

Never underestimate the mendacity of a BC government
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:14 PM on September 21, 2015 [9 favorites]

Just in time for the new X-Files to do a sequel to an old episode. The more things change...
posted by mstokes650 at 3:15 PM on September 21, 2015

Come on guys, BC is more than big enough to have managed forests for timber production. There shouldn't be (and indeed it seems there isn't) any need for this.
posted by 1adam12 at 3:36 PM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Photos of logging in BC are always so shocking, with clear cuts running right down to the water edge. (It's probably not so much that logging practices are better here as it is that we've logged most of our old growth already.)
posted by Dip Flash at 3:44 PM on September 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

Not really, no. The demand outstrips a reasonable and sustainable tree-farming scheme. (Mostly because people advocating for that have the shocking notion that since the point of managed forests is to save the rest of them, we really need to stick to that and keep it to a minimum). Plus, however big BC is, there's more money, and importantly more immediate money from just cutting down everything now rather than investing in something long-term, sustainable, and lower profit.

The whole planet needs to stop using paper, more or less. We're as addicted to it--despite the febrile imaginings of futurists and their 'paperless office' predictions--as ever, virtually nothing gets recycled, and we're just mowing down trees left right and centre to fill the need. (Furniture, too, which is a whole other thing that bugs me: Canada chops down our forests, sends all the wood somewhere else, then buys it back in processed form for a lot of money. It's fucking stupid, but at least furniture has utility beyond wrapping your Big Mac or the latest TPS report). But like everything is made of paper. You know what drives me bonkers? (and yes I am part of the problem) Paper wrapped straws. Like, yay, a double frivolous waste of dwindling resources.

Anyway, it's just cheaper for these companies to go in and start chopping than to manage forests reasonably. Even if they get fined, it's as the nature of all business fines: a comparatively negligible amount that they just factor into the bottom line.

We need, as a country, to crack the hell down on this stuff. We need to collectively suck up a short-term lessening of all the conveniences we take for granted, and pivot our entire national infrastructure towards restoring and maintaining our environment.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:48 PM on September 21, 2015 [3 favorites]

I doubt this has anything to do with paper. That's hardly the most valuable use of old-growth timber.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 3:53 PM on September 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

I doubt this has anything to do with paper.

Well, it is what money is printed on.
posted by compartment at 4:16 PM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

No it isn't.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:21 PM on September 21, 2015 [7 favorites]

Old growth wood seems like it's more valuable.
posted by Annika Cicada at 4:27 PM on September 21, 2015

I'd like to know more about the politics here. The profits have to be pretty short-term especially given the obvious shortage of old-growth that is left to pillage. What hooks do the timber interests have in Victoria that are so much stronger than the outrage this provokes? How much mileage can the current govt get out of some pandering to the timber interests? Is it more of a federal issue (to use the US term)?
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 4:35 PM on September 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

Dip Flash: "Photos of logging in BC are always so shocking, with clear cuts running right down to the water edge."

I think those are older cuts, I'm not sure but I don't think you can cut into the riparian zone anymore.
posted by Mitheral at 5:02 PM on September 21, 2015

Seconding the call for more information. Not to pre-empt that detail, but one of the issues I've read about is that some of the old-growth forest that remains around Cathedral Grove, for example, was left uncut as part of agreements between the original private manager (Weyerhauser) and the BC government. Those private-managed lands have now been sold to Island Timberlands, who don't plan to honour those agreements. It's just business, folks - nothing to see here.
posted by sneebler at 5:16 PM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

It's disgusting that one could buy or own old-growth forest. That belongs to everyone. I'm not even allowed to cut down a tree in my back yard because our municipal bylaws state that unless they're sick or dangerous, we must keep the trees to keep the neighbourhood appeal.
posted by Hazelsmrf at 5:26 PM on September 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

the logging company, Teal Jones

Okay, now we know the company's ''porn name", what's their real name?
posted by Herodios at 3:45 AM on September 22, 2015

British Columbia needs to come to terms with its forestry problems. It's not unlike the American Pacific Northwest in this regard, but I think it's going to be harder for them in many ways -- there are a lot of small communities in BC that have never known anything but resource extraction as an engine for economic activity and while Vancouver has diversified considerably it was still built on logging and mining money and will find it very hard to give those up.

But BC's forests are in increasingly terrible shape. I remember how disturbed I was the last time I traveled the Inside Passage to see all the clearcuts on Vancouver Island, and further north one can scarcely understand the extent of the damage from the spruce beetle until you see it for yourself.
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:05 PM on September 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

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