The Ancient Forest Alliance
5% of all online retail purchases at seafloraskincare.com for the month of May will be donated to The Ancient Forest Alliance in support of their efforts to save B.C.’s endangered old-growth forests.
“Seaflora Skincare is committed to the ecological preservation and sustainability of the environment. Year round we work to protect our agricultural lands, rural countryside, coastlines and marine ecosystems. From start to finish, Seaflora is committed to bringing you skincare that is healthy and nontoxic to your body and earth-friendly at the same time. As residents of Vancouver Island, supporting the efforts of the Ancient Forest Alliance is our duty!” – Adam Butcher, CEO at Seaflora Skincare Inc.
Ancient Forest Alliance works to protect B.C.’s endangered old-growth forests and ensure a sustainable second growth forest industry.
What AFA does:
- Explores and documents endangered ancient forests, record-sized heritage trees, and areas impacted by old-growth logging with professional photos and videos.
- Educates the public through the news media, social media, our own publications, and through direct interaction at events, booths, and door to door.
- Engages with and supports BC’s diverse First Nations communities to develop old-growth conservation initiatives and land use plans that sustain their cultures and ancient forests.
- Focuses on outreach with non-traditional allies to expand and broaden the conservation spectrum, including with businesses, unions, forestry workers, scientists, faith groups, and diverse cultural groups.
- Undertakes research and develops solutions for policy makers.
- Organizes public forums, slideshows, rallies, protests, hikes, campouts, petition drives, and letter-writing campaigns to build widespread grassroots support.
- Works with other like-minded conservation organizations to coordinate and strengthen our impact.
- Empowers, trains, and supports local activists to build campaigns in their own communities.
- Engages key government decision-makers, civil servants, and politicians/ political parties regarding BC forest policies.
The team at Ancient Forest Alliance is calling on the BC government to:
- Implement a science-based plan to protect the endangered old-growth forests in the province.
- Ensure the sustainable logging of second-growth forests, which now constitute the majority of forest lands in southern BC.
- Support First Nations land use planning and sustainable economic development and diversification in lieu of old-growth logging.
- End the export of BC raw logs to foreign mills in order to ensure a guaranteed log supply and value-added processing facilities.
- Implement incentives for the retooling and development of BC mills and value-added facilities to handle second-growth logs.
- Work to inform and mobilize the public and diverse constituencies, including non-traditional allies, to protect ancient forests and forestry jobs. An educated and active citizenry exerts the ultimate lobby pressure on governments.
- Focus mainly on solutions, including ensuring viable economic alternatives, to the destructive status quo.
- Recognize and support the centrality of BC’s First Nations in determining land use activities in their unceded territories and aim to work cooperatively with BC’s diverse First Nations everywhere possible.
- Retain the right to support and/or criticize all levels of government based on their environmental policies in regards to ancient forests and forestry jobs.
- Work within the law.
- Defends the intrinsic value of all ecosystems and species, including humanity, to flourish for their own sake within the context of ecological harmony.
- Supports First Nations cultures, rights and title to the land.
- Supports environmental policies that also entail practical economic solutions and substantial support for the thousands of forestry workers in B.C.
If you are inspired to volunteer with The Ancient Forest Alliance click here for details to get involved in the campaign to protect BC’s endangered old-growth forests and ensure sustainable forestry in the province! To volunteer, please contact [email protected] and let them know whether you are in Victoria, Vancouver, or elsewhere, and if there are any specific volunteer positions that interest you. They thank you for your support!
If you are too busy and still want to help, you can be like Seaflora and donate here.
Some information from the AFA’s website:
“Unfortunately, the current BC government still clings to the notion that major industrial logging of endangered ancient forests is still an ethical and viable undertaking – which it is not. The history of high-grade logging of the biggest and best old-growth stands in the valley bottoms and lower slopes in BC has resulted not only in the increasing collapse of old-growth ecosystems – as indicated through the decline of spotted owl, mountain caribou, marbled murrelet, and wild salmon populations – but also in the forest industry’s diminishing returns as the remaining trees become smaller, increasingly marginal, and more expensive to reach on high, steep mountainsides, resulting in the collapse of rural forestry employment. Look at before and after maps from 2012 here.
We’ve got our work cut out for us. However, the Ancient Forest Alliance has been working hard not only as the lead organization, but as the ONLY organization focused exclusively on achieving comprehensive legislation to protect BC’s old-growth forests and ensuring a sustainable, value-added second-growth forest industry.
Make it happen!
As a young and nimble organization, we’ve employed a significant amount of creativity and innovation in our approach. We are working with non-traditional allies including green businesses, forestry workers, unions, First Nations, and faith groups; extensively using professional photography and videography to share spectacular images of our endangered forests globally through the news and social media; creatively nick-naming places like the “Avatar Grove” and “Big Lonely Doug” which have gone viral and helped to raise widespread awareness; using a remotely-piloted aerial drone to monitor and document with incredible HD video our most magnificent ancient forests; and undertaking highly effective, door-to-door voter education campaigns in targeted ridings to hold elected politicians accountable – which we can do as we’ve opted-out of having charitable status, which restricts most environmental groups from engaging in more direct but effective political advocacy work that influences government policies.”
Right now, the hottest issue is the plan to clear-cut old-growth near Port Renfrew and Juan de Fuca Marine Trail.
Groups call logging a provincial government ‘blind spot’.
A map depicting the old-growth cut blocks adjacent to the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park and town of Port Renfrew that are currently up for auction by BC Timber Sales
Plans to auction off 109 hectares of old-growth forest adjacent to the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park have outraged conservationists and tourism operators.
The seven planned cutblocks, two of which come to within 37 metres* of the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park boundary near Port Renfrew, would see an estimated 55,346 cubic metres of old-growth – the equivalent of over 1,300 loaded logging trucks – leave the region known as the Tall Tree Capital of Canada.
Forestry and politics
Opponents charge the B.C. government and Forests Minister Doug Donaldson have demonstrated a lack of political will to preserve the endangered forests.
“The provincial government has a blind spot that they are not willing to address,” said Andrea Inness, a representative of the Ancient Forest Alliance.
“They won’t even acknowledge that there’s a problem and keep hiding behind misleading statistics that paint a very rosy, and very false, picture for old-growth forests. But if you dig down you can see they just don’t get it.”
Inness said the government will say that 55 per cent of the old growth on Vancouver Island is protected, but they fail to acknowledge that some forest types have already been devastated by logging.
“If you look at the coastal Douglas-fir forests, for example, less than one per cent of those forests remain,” she said.
Inness added that the 55 per cent figure is also misleading as it includes already protected areas like the Great Bear Rainforest and other forest types like the sub-alpine and bog forests that have no commercial value and were never threatened.
The government’s move to auction off the current cutblocks came with no public consultation, said Inness and were discovered when environmental groups studied the 2019 schedule of work published by the B.C. government’s logging agency, B.C. Timber Sales.
B.C. Timber Sales is the B.C. government logging agency that manages 20 per cent of the province’s allowable annual cut. It recently came under fire from a host of environmental agencies for what Jens Weiling of the Sierra Club has described as “flying blind into terminating the old-growth web of life.”
In a review of B.C. Timber Sales’ sales schedule, environmental organizations Elphinstone Logging Focus and Sierra Club B.C. found the provincial government agency is proposing 2019 cutblocks across the last intact old-growth rainforest areas on Vancouver Island adding up to more than 1,300 hectares–an area equivalent to the size of more than three Stanley Parks.
BC’s forests and tourism
The move to cut down old-growth forests is also of concern to tourist business operators in the region who contend that the standing trees have a far greater value than the clear cut lumber they will provide.
“Port Renfrew, a former logging town, has successfully re-branded itself in recent years as the Tall Tree Capital of Canada and is seeing a huge increase in eco-tourism, greatly benefiting local businesses,” said TJ Watt, a photographer and advocate for old growth forests.
“This logging will impact Port Renfrew’s reputation as an eco-tourism destination, not to mention the impacts on the environment.”
John Cash and Soule Creek Lodge
Soule Creek Lodge owner John Cash said he is deeply concerned and disappointed with the planned logging in an area adjacent to his tourist attraction.
“My business relies on tourists who come to admire the big trees and old-growth forests. My business doubled after Avatar Grove was discovered,” he said.
“Instead of old-growth clearcutting right up to a provincial park boundary, the B.C. government should be helping rural communities like Port Renfrew transition to more diverse and sustainable economies. People don’t come here from all around the world to hear the sounds of old-growth being cut down.”
Cash said despite the NDP’s promise that they would make forest conservation a priority, their actions have not reflected that commitment.
“It’s business as usual,” said Cash.
Both Cash and Inness have called upon Forests Minister Doug Donaldson to cancel the old-growth timber sales before the closing date for bids on April 26. They say that, instead, the minister should move to protect the area and consider incorporating it into the boundaries of the provincial park.
A spokesman for the Forest Ministry responded with a statement that confirmed the sale of the cutblocks, reiterated the government position that 55 per cent of old growth forests are protected and said that ending logging in old growth forests would affect people engaged in the logging industry.
See the original article here.
* Note: Two of the seven proposed cutblocks fall within 50 metres of the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park boundary, not 37 metres as stated in the article.
A work forever in progress
The AFA looks forward to more progress and success, thanks to their supporters who are the foundation for an organization like no other, working tirelessly to save the last stands of the most beautiful ecosystems on planet Earth. See some of the biggest stompers they’ve come across here.
Central Building, #303-620 View St, Victoria, BC
Office hours: Tuesday & Thursday 11:00am – 4:30pm
Phone (250) 896-4007 (Mon-Fri. 9am – 6pm)
E-Mail: [email protected]
Victoria Main PO, Box 8459, Victoria, BC V8W 3S1, Canada