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Fraser receives forest award

Oceanside Star, March 29, 2013

Fraser receives forest award
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At Cathedral Grove, MLA Scott Fraser receives his Forest Sustainability Award from Ken Wu of the Ancient Forest Alliance.
TJ Watt

Alberni-Pacific Rim MLA Scott Fraser received a Forest Sustainability Award from conservationists and forestry workers Monday, recognizing his efforts as an MLA to protect endangered old-growth forests, to counter the deregulation of forest lands on Vancouver Island, and to restrict the export of B.C. raw logs to foreign mills.

The award was presented by Ken Wu and TJ Watt of the Ancient Forest Alliance, a non-profit environmental group working to protect old-growth forests and ensure sustainable second-growth forestry. The award is jointly sponsored by the Youbou TimberLess Society, former employees of the now-defunct Youbou sawmill.

The ceremony took place in Cathedral Grove, Canada's most famous old-growth forest that is currently under threat with a planned cutblock by Island Timberlands on the above mountainside on Mount Horne.

"I'm grateful to receive this wonderful recognition for my work," Fraser said. "Our old-growth forests are a vitally important part of this province's identity, and a sustainable forest industry will benefit everyone. I will champion endangered old-growth protection and sustainable forestry leading up to the election and subsequent to the election whether as part of a new government or in the opposition."

Wu, executive director of the Ancient Forest Alliance, said Fraser "has been an exceptional MLA for his energy and outspokenness to protect endangered old-growth forests and forestry jobs. He's one of the rare politicians who has a real connection to BC's majestic old-growth forests - a politician who actually hikes and gets muddy in these special places. It's clear that his advocacy has not been lip service or simply a means to score political points, but because Fraser has a genuine passion - you can feel it when he's talking - for our old-growth forests and for a sustainable forest industry that could support future generations of forest workers in this province.

"It's important to give credit where credit is due, and Fraser certainly deserves credit for making forest sustainability central to his role as an elected public servant in his time."

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