Weyerhaeuser’s Predatory Logging in Canadian Boreal, Inadequate Campaign Response
Below is disturbing information regarding illegal logging of the Canadian Boreal by Weyerhaeuser. There is a vibrant campaign that is showing signs of success in defending this massive and magnificent old-growth forest ecosystem. In the story below, the groups which include the Rainforest Action Network correctly highlight the predatory, law-breaking behavior of industrial loggers. Weyerhaeuser was found to have exceeded its logging and road building allowances to supply corporations including Xerox with paper. Shockingly, this corporate criminality was certified as being “sustainable” by a patsy industry certification organization.
However, where the campaign goes wrong is identifying achievement of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification as the desirable alternative. Canada's ancient boreal forests power planetary ecosystem functions ? these ancient behemoth trees should not be used to make paper or plywood. FSC certified industrial logging still involves bull-dozers rumbling through ancient forests, irreducibly diminishing an ecological treasure. No natural primary forest has ever been harvested more than a couple times under such standards. Yet implicitly FSC's green rhetoric, with which even WWF, RAN and Greenpeace have become enamored, suggests that their standards are environmentally benign. This is far from the truth. In reality, these areas will be further reduced with each harvest, eventually becoming virtually tree plantations.
The Earth has surpassed the amount of standing old-growth forests required for global ecological sustainability. The forest conservation movement would be well served by trying to end industrial logging of primary forests, rather than make it a bit less deadly. I understand the logic that certification as a strategy seems reasonable. But the ecological facts are incontrovertible: 80% of ancient forests are already gone, first time industrial forestry in primary forests permanently changes them, and even FSC's standards provide no guarantees of ecological sustainability of forest management. The answer is to limit FSC certification of industrial forestry to secondary and natural planted forests, while only certifying community based small scale eco-forestry in ancient primary forests. And simply leaving ancient forest ecosystems alone, while helping them to expand, is always by far the best outcome, however difficult it may be to achieve. Planetary survival will not come easily.
Well intended but ecologically depauperate forest conservation strategies must be confronted before there is nothing left. It is better that forest campaign strategies in our last old-growth cathedrals are somewhat na