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Old-Growth Forest Slideshow Comes to Saltspring Island on Wednesday, October 6th

Newly-founded Ancient Forest Alliance seeks support from Saltspring's environmentally conscious residents

Ancient Forest Alliance Media Release, October 1, 2010

Old-Growth Forest Slideshow Comes to Saltspring Island on Wednesday, October 6th
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Canada's largest Spruce, the San Juan Spruce (left) and the World's largest Douglas fir, the Red Creek Fir (right) are just two of the amazing sights to be seen in the AFA's upcoming old-growth slideshow on Saltsping Island!
Photos by TJ Watt

Saltspring Island, Canada- Co-founders of the newly formed Ancient Forest Alliance Ken Wu and TJ Watt will host an informative and inspiring slideshow featuring spectacular photographs of Canada's largest trees, including the Red Creek Fir, San Juan Spruce, Cheewhat Cedar, and the newly-discovered, threatened Avatar Grove. The presentation will include discussion of the stunning ecology and complex politics surrounding BC's old-growth forests and forestry jobs. It will be held at Central Hall on Fulford-Ganges Road from 7:00-8:30 pm on Wednesday, October 6th, 2010.
"Time is running out for our endangered old-growth forests and BC’s coastal forestry jobs. Saltspring Island is famous as a hub of environmental consciousness – it may very well have the highest density of tree-huggers in North America! It's a key place for us to build support and expand the campaign to protect our ancient forests, ensure sustainable second-growth forestry, and to ban raw log exports to foreign mills," states Ken Wu, AFA campaign director.
To date, about 75% of Vancouver Island’s productive old growth forest has been logged according to satellite photos, including 90% of the flat valley bottoms, while only 6% of its original, productive old-growth forests are protected in parks. Meanwhile thousands of forestry jobs are being lost as millions of cubic meters of raw logs are exported each year to foreign mills.
Old-growth forests are important for sustaining species at risk, tourism, clean water, and First Nations traditional cultures.
With so little of our ancient forests remaining, the Ancient Forest Alliance is calling on the BC Liberal government to:
- Undertake a Provincial Old-Growth Strategy that will inventory and protect old-growth forests where they are scarce (egs. Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands, Lower Mainland, southern Interior, etc.).
- Ensure the sustainable logging of second-growth forests, which now constitute the vast majority of southern BC’s forests.
- End the export of raw logs in order to ensure guaranteed log supplies for local milling and value-added industries.
- Assist in the retooling and development of mills and value-added facilities to handle second-growth logs.
- Undertake new land-use planning initiatives based on First Nations land-use plans, ecosystem-based scientific assessments, and climate mitigation strategies involving forest protection.
“How many jurisdictions on Earth have trees with trunks as wide as living rooms and that grow as tall as big-city skyscrapers? We’re so lucky to have such exceptionally magnificent forests here in southern Coastal BC. Unfortunately 90% of the valley bottoms where the largest trees grow have already been cut here, yet the BC Liberal government still contends that it’s fine for the industry finish off the last of the unprotected stands,” states TJ Watt, campaigner and photographer with the Ancient Forest Alliance.

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