–Juan de Fuca Forest Watch release
JdF Forest Watch Calls out Corruption, Collusion of Interests in BC Forestry
The newly formed Juan de Fuca Forest Watch is quickly activating citizens in the region to respond to what they see as an urgent, emergency scenario playing out currently in their backyard forests.
The organization was founded this spring with a mission to renegotiate the terms of regional forestry with long overdue respect for and recognition of the intrinsic, deep-rooted value of our forests. They also advocate for a return to real, local value in forestry-related work.
In March the group launched a week-long “Log Watch” with volunteers tracking and counting the rate and volume of logs being trucked out of their region from a common witness station. Log Watch provoked a buzz about those ubiquitous logging trucks and their loads, making the invisible visible again. And it provided empirical terms to the tremendous volume and rate of extraction. Perhaps the most amazing outcome was the discovery that in terms of sheer scale, the devastation of our local forests rivals those great deforestation crises around the world.
Explains JdF Forest Watch member Darren Alexander: “We finally have some figures, so we can begin to compare to other deforestation crises in the world, for instance to rainforest regions like the Amazon, the Philippines, and Indonesia. And what we’re finding is almost hard to believe. It would appear we are at pace with the worst rates and volumes of deforestation in the world.”
JdF Forest Watch is determined to educate the public about the long history of corruption and collusion at high levels of government and industry. They point to a long, flagrant history of such evidence that is on the record for anyone to read. From the Sommers Affair in 1957 to the Rich Coleman Affair in 2007 the forests have always been and continue to be pillaged for fast profit by friends in high places. Meanwhile, most benefits by way of jobs and local economic spin-off have all but dried up.
The group is active in so many ways. Members have collected ample evidence (around Muir Mountain for instance) to show that companies like Western Forest Products are regularly operating in breach of ecological standards regarding conservation of fish-bearing waterways, and extraction of old-growth trees. Forest Watch member David Evans ran a successful GoFundMe campaign to mount a billboard message on the Pat Bay Highway, which has been garnering notices of support from around the world. And this is just the beginning:
Juan de Fuca watch has called for An Open & Public Meeting to Discuss Urgent Forestry Issues, in order to better coordinate our appeal for a just and sustainable forestry practice. The meeting is in Sooke on Saturday, June 4, from 2-5 pm.
- BC Chamber of Commerce Passes Resolution Calling on the Province to Expand Old-Growth Forest Protections
- Group seeks to share information on forestry corruption, collusion
- Log Watch launches, and starts counting
- NDP critical of increasing carbon emissions under Clark’s leadership
- Local business owner launches website and billboard, calling for a stop to old growth logging
- BC Liberals and NDP agree on the success of the Great Bear Rainforest agreement
- Sooke entrepreneur seeks to raise funds for Walbran awareness billboard on Pat Bay Highway
- Supreme court rules in favour of logging company Teal-Jones
- LETTER: Update on clear-cut logging of old growth at Carmanah/Walbran