War in the woods, part two, now underway

Spirit bear 3In the 1990s there was a long-running conflict in Clayquot Sound and what is now known as the Great Bear Rainforest between logging companies and environmental activists. The showdown was over the future use of the forests. The logging companies viewed the forests as “fibre” that could be harvested for quick profit. The environmentalists pointed out there were animals that lived in the forests as well, and that the forests were actually “eco-systems” comprised of rivers, woods, animals, fish, birds and the biomass of the forest floor. Cutting down all the trees destroyed entire systems.

On January 28, 2014, in a report published by the Vancouver Sun, conservation groups and forest companies reached final agreement on how they want to increase old-growth protection in the Great Bear Rainforest. Their recommendations have been delivered to the B.C. government and First Nations who have the final say on changes. The joint industry-environmental group announcement brings to a close a 14-year effort. This ends a bitter fight by environmentalists in the 1990s to preserve one of the world’s largest intact temperate rainforests, home to the so-called white spirit bear.

So ends what news media dubbed “the war in the woods.” However, on February 1st, the Vancouver Sun published my article titled War in the woods, part two. My article reports that a new conflict over the use of B.C’s forests is now erupting, this time between tourism operators wishing to promote B.C. as a wilderness destination versus the Liberal government determined to allow the extraction and shipping of raw resources at a rate never seen before. The showdown has commenced with the reduction and elimination of various ferry routes, in particular the Discovery Route ferry from Port Hardy to Bella Coola. For more information, read the entire story at the link below.



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