On March 6, 2013, Ken Wu of the Ancient Rainforest Alliance presented some recent research findings on the extent of raw log exports from BC and provided an analysis of how BC could build a diversified, value-added, second-growth forest industry.

In 2012, Ken Wu and TJ Watt of the Ancient Rainforest Alliance visited Stillwater Bluffs south of Powell River and hiked in support of this area becoming a regional park. For more information, visit the Friends of Stillwater Bluffs website at http://fosb.blogspot.ca/.

After Ken’s visit, Janet Newbury of Powell River Voices contacted him for a concise list of recommendations on the basis of his talk; i.e., what engaged citizens can ask policy makers to do, and what they can do to engage meaningfully with the issue.

Here is part of Ken’s response:

The main ask of our organization is that the BC Liberal government and NDP opposition must commit, before the election, to a new sustainable vision of forestry for the province where we’re losing jobs and the ecosystems are collapsing too (as is evident by the diminishing populations of species like mountain caribou, spotted owls, the demise of numerous salmon runs, etc.). We are asking the parties to commit to:

  • Establishing a Provincial Old-Growth Plan that would quickly ban or phase-out old-growth logging in regions where old-growth forests are now scarce, such as the Southwest Mainland, Vancouver Island, BC Interior, etc.
  • Ensuring a sustainable, value-added second-growth forest industry, including providing incentives for converting old-growth mills to handle second-growth logs and to develop value-added processing facilities.
  • Ending the export of raw, unprocessed logs to foreign mills. This can be done through an escalating tax, or a graduated phase-out, at the same time the province’s second-growth processing capacity is ramped-up through incentives.

The things citizens can do include:

  1. signing our Petition (and download hardcopies to circulate) at www.AncientForestPetition.com
  2. Lobbying their local MLAs and candidates to adopt a stance to end old-growth logging in endangered regions (like the Sunshine Coast), and to end raw log exports. Raising these issues in All-Candidates Debates.
  3. Writing letters to the editor about the need for a Provincial Old-Growth Plan, sustainable, value-added second-growth forestry, and an end to raw log exports. Write to all local papers, provincial, and national newspapers.
  4. Taking part in upcoming “Weeks of Action for Ancient Forests and BC Jobs” where we’ll be asking local community groups to organize public events (slideshows, hikes, rallies) and funnel letters into the local MLA, Minister of Forests, and Premier.
  5. Taking part in various “Environmental Activism Trainings” that the Ancient Forest Alliance will be organizing over the next several months.
  6. Signing up to be in the loop on ancient forest issues and our future activities through our website.

In addition to this list of possibilities from Ken Wu, you might also want to host a viewing and discussion group based on his talk, which you can see below or on YouTube: