The Great Canadian Temperate Rainforest Sell-Out

With the aid of greenwashing by the large mainstream and even “radical” environmental groups, 2/3 of Canada's ancient temperate rainforests are to be heavily industrially logged in return for vague protections in 1/3 of this planetary ecosystem treasure trove. EcoInternet's network has campaigned against this deal in the past. There are no assurances these protection levels are adequate for regional ecosystem sustainability, that the logging can be done in a manner that maintains the full range of species, or that later the protected forests will not come under logging pressures.


This new compromise collaborationism with industrial logging by the likes of Greenpeace and the Rainforest Action Network in general is a damn shame. Shockingly, these sorts of ancient forest giveaways are being heralded as models for future agreements in Canada's boreal forests and the Amazon by these “ancient forest protectors” as well as Forest Unethics, the Sierra Chumps and of course WWF – the biggest panderer for “environmentally sustainable” industrial logging of ancient forests.
This feel good do nothing conservation ethic threatens the Earth's sustainability. The ecological wholeness of large ancient old growth forests are irreparably destroyed by commercial logging. EcoInternet will not rest until certified industrial logging of ancient forests – much less this deal's promises of logging as “ecosystem
management” – is shown to be the ecological fraud it is. We will soon be further pursuing a campaign in this regard – aggressively targeting environmental organizations and foundations that participate in this obscene abuse of the public's and their member's trust.
Ancient forest logging will be ended, and those gorging themselves upon the foundation's trough shown to be forest conservation charlatans. Shame on those consigning Canada's temperate rainforests to a future as fragmented tree farms.

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14 Responses

  1. Tony Tuomey says:

    Wow. Finally someone is working to save all ancient forests rather than spending more time trying to redeem logging these priceless treasures. You have my full support. And I intend to get friends to stop supporting Greenpeace and RAN. Can you believe these guys – nowhere on there websites does it indicate the degree to which they have driven this horrendous deal which dooms 2/3 of this wilderness to industrial sacrilege.

  2. Adam says:

    Hi Glen,
    its all well and good being pissed with everyone, and although I am involved with gp I agree with much of what you say. BUT. it would be nice to hear of some campaign wins from ecological internet. These emails, while being mostly right, never tell of the wins. I know we have
    them as I've been involved in a few. I appreciate your work so want to warn you that you run the risk of being sidelined as a complainer. I think if any of the cyber actiony stuff is working let us know! Last year I was coord for a 3 month occupation of a proposed whale and dolphin meat factory in south korea and we won, partly due to flooding
    the city council with so many emails from around the world that their server broke down and they begged us to make it stop. I was coord for a tree sit 65m up a giant gum in tasmania for 5 months and that area is protected now. Telling people about these things gives them the juice to
    keep going in their work or keep giving money if they cant actualy help out. Forgive me if I'm completely wrong but I havent seen any good news from you yet I dont think.
    finest
    Adam
    REPLY:
    Adam,
    I have reported on nearly a dozen recent wins which can be found at:
    http://www.ecoearth.info/cgi-bin/newblog/mt-search.cgi?IncludeBlogs=1&search=victory
    We supported your Tasmanian protest with emails. I refuse to paint a rosey picture as a tactic. So when is Greenpeace to reconsider its support for industrial forestry in ancient forests? It is time and there will be hell to pay if you don't.
    Glen

  3. pete lusk says:

    No green organisation has the right to bind future generations to logging precious forests. A dirty deal such as this was done in Aotearoa/New Zealand and it set our movement back 10 years. We finally achieved an end to all ogging of our publicly-owned temperate rainforests.
    I fully support you Glen, 100% mate,
    Pete Lusk

  4. Adrian says:

    Hello Glen,
    I think you are maybe being too hasty in your condemnation of the deal
    struck over the Great Bear Rainforest. I have not seen all the details yet
    but I am very familiar with the area having flown over it to photograph
    wilderness areas and having traveled there extensively by boat. One of the
    things they seldom tell you is that although it looks pristine, many, many
    areas that are steep and above the water have been logged before, some even
    for a second time. In fact on a 5 week expedition there in 1993, I saw
    precious little old-growth, except when you get far from the water or up a
    river valley. After 80 years of recovery, it takes a trained eye to tell the
    difference between old-growth and second-growth from a distance. Also, a lot
    has to do with what the natives want, because preserving wilderness without
    having them on side doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell. Having lived
    there for thousands of years and being rather poverty stricken, they need a
    sustainable economic base, and believe me, they wield a lot of clout. More
    than they themselves realize, I would say. I personally have very little
    sympathy for logging old-growth and believe is should be stopped. But there
    are some complex realities to deal with on this coast. And besides, the
    world is now going to hell in a handbasket so fast, as you yourself
    recognize, that this large region will still remain one of the world's
    wilder regions when civilization begins to unravel (as it surely must). If
    you flew over the area yourself, and saw the large wild areas that still
    remain, it would do your heart good. By the way, the Kitlope drainage that
    was previously set aside, consists of about a million additional acres.
    Adrian Dorst
    REPLY: Thanks Adrian. I respect your opinion. But is this the best we can hope for in terms of protection for
    the world's last 20% of old-growth forests – that 2/3 of what remains will be logged? Is that what
    we can most hope for in the Amazon? Congo? Is this based upon what we think is the best we can
    do or upon planetarty requirements for sustainability? Certainly not the latter.
    Regards,
    Glen

  5. Of course it's important to hear of conservation successes – they are hard won – but I believe EI's main role, which I think it does well, is not to anaesthetise the reality of the destruction that takes place and to highlight the attitudes that 'justify' the damage. I believe the Canadian logging issue is such a case. The lumber companies involved don't of course really care about the environmental issues, otherwise they wouldn't be there in the first place. The important thing for them is to lay their foundations that will enable them to keep working and keep profitable. Poweful lumber companies working with an ear for the concerns of indiginous people and wildlife makes for good PR. But it's impotant to remeber that campaigning has forced them to adopt tactics of conciliation, it's not from their own free will. My concern is, as ponted out by EI, is that when stripped of the PR it's a method that further empowers these companies to get ultimately what they're after, which is as much wood as possible.

  6. Giovanni says:

    I would really like to thank you for the interesting news, i know you guys are doing a great effort in the fight against forest fires. Good luck and Keep up with the good work.
    Best regards,
    Giovanni Castillo Najera

  7. Louise says:

    Dear Glen, Just a quick message to say thanks for your amazing commitment & work in trying to get people to wake uo to the truths of the state of the planet & the complete lack of integrity of politicians, corporations, etc in addressing honestly the problems we all face- I feel as passionately as you do about these issues & am so grateful that you put your time & energy into this very valuable work. I am an 'eco-warrior' myself having built an eco-house at Findhorn in Scotland , being a member of Greenpeace & generally living as ethically as I can. I wish I could do more & feel a bit limited as a widow with 3 children, though as they are now 20, 18 & 16 I can see a time in the near future when I can be free to really GO FOR IT & spend more time studying, growing food using permaculture & being more politically active.
    Thanks for your inspiration & encouragement- I want you to know that YOU DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!! keep up the wonderful work!!
    With much appreciation & many blessings, Louise

  8. Canary says:

    Hello Glen,
    All we hear and see is nothing but the slow downfall of this civilization…
    Men since W.W.ll with all their knowledge and technologo and morals are
    pushing us down a “slope” from where there is no return… Canary.

  9. Michael says:

    There is a too quiet beneficiary of the announced agreement. Wtih the RSP enviros trumpeting vast protected areas (the logging of which would have bankrupted both the government and the forest industry); and with FN's freshly entitled to collect stumpage and jobs (from maximizing exploitation of residual industrial tenures in their territories); we have still not seen the total value of cash, policy and security of interest benefits which will be conveyed through this agreement to the forest industry licensees in addition to relieving them from an impossible economic situation. We had the scenario of an unwanted profligate industrial tenant having sold or trashed our best assets and furnishings who was looking for a way to escape from a punishingly expensive lease obligation, and instead of demanding compensation for damage and repairs from our tenant, we are now paying the tenant for an expensive sublet in this this battered and defiled suite of rooms that we own. Don't celebrate this victory unless you are celebrating the massively publically subsidized revival of a dissolute and reckless forest industry. Michael

  10. Michael says:

    Hi Glen, I thought you might be interested this from Karen Wonders re AKU interest in the GBR. The RSP GBR bunch financed by WWF and Ducks Unlimited are filled with momentum for achieving protection for the 50% wetlands of the boreal in return for consigning the boreal forests to the Alpac, Suncor and Tembec for “development”. What a wonderful victory for the ducks eh! Michael

  11. Tzeporah says:

    Glen, Sell out? 'feel good do nothing'? We protected over 4 million acres
    of old growth. Over 100 intact rainforest valleys. I know. I've hiked them,
    flown over them and fought for then for ten years. When we started they were
    all slated to be roaded and logged. Now they will not be. Is there more
    forest worthy of protection. Of course but 4 million acres is 4 million
    acres.
    Tzeporah Berman
    Program Director
    ForestEthics
    ph: 250.935.0061
    Efax: 240.209.0512
    Response:
    Tzeporah,
    And in so doing you sacrificed an area twice as large to industrial forestry that will turn ancient forests into tree plantations. And you set a dangerous precedent that the Amazon, Congo, Boreal forests should be heavily logged with much smaller protected areas. Rather than shutting down ancient oldgrowth logging you have thrown the industry a life line. You sold out and have done great damage to the Earth. I hope you can live with yourself.
    Glen

  12. Matt says:

    In an age where economics trumps environment (sad but true) I think 1/3 protection should be considered a victory in many regards. The people responsible worked hard to secure a commitment that they deemed was realistic. No one can argue that this is not a complete environmental victory, but it is a success. In an ideal world we would all live in some sort of ecological utopia, but this is obviously not the case. Some concessions must be given.
    To me the “Triad” approach to forest management seems entirely logical. Preserve 1/3, subject 1/3 to a “light” environmental footprint and intensively manage 1/3. As I see it, the next step would be to ensure the the middle 1/3 was managed with the least impact (not an easy feat).
    Let's be realistic, an all or nothing approach will merely result in nothing.
    Matt
    REPLY: Is 1/3 enough to maintain ecological processes upon which everything including the economy depends? Does being “reasonable” protect enough to survive?

  13. matt says:

    Point well taken…I doubt that 1/3 of a forest landscape alone would be enough to sustain ecological processes. And yes….the economy does depend on a healthy, functioning ecosystem.
    On the same note though, I think that there is more to this than your reply suggests. With the application of progressive environmental management techniques, we do not have to rely on merely the preserved 1/3 of the forest landscape to maintain ecological processes. Modern forest management attempts to take ecological processes into account on many levels. On a site level, harvest designs that stimulate natural disturbance patterns may assist in conserving ecosystem function. On a landscape level, maintenance of an old-growth pattern that better reflects the natural range of variation can help mediate fragmentation. These are just two minor examples.
    By no way am I being naive here, I know these mechanisms are far from perfect. I cannot deny that many ecosystem functions may be temporarily and/or permanently altered due to forest management, especially so on intensively managed sites. My point here is that the 2/3 of the landscape not in a state of preservation will contribute to ecosystem function if managed properly.
    This not a case of complete land conversion as may be the case in some countries. With that being said, maybe this isn't such a bad example to set.
    I should also clarify that I am not a supporter of logging virgin old-growth rainforest. In some ways I am being the devil's advocate and in many ways I am simply a realist. I am also not saying that environmental groups should call it a day and close up shop over this success.
    Matt

  14. Jillian says:

    Hi,
    I am doing a report on temperate forest. My last page is on human Interation, can email me with any info you know?
    Thanks a bunch,
    Jill

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