The Ancient Forest Alliance
(AFA) is a British Columbian organization working to protect the endangered old-growth forests of BC and to ensure sustainable forestry jobs in the province. It was founded in January of 2010 and is run by BC environmental activists Ken Wu, TJ Watt, Joan Varley, and Hannah Carpendale. more ...
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Recent Ancient Forest News
Photo Gallery: Timber Workers/ Environmentalists Rally in Port Alberni
Ancient Forest Alliance, July 26, 2016
On Friday, July 22, forestry workers from various sawmills and pulpmills from two major unions, the PPWC (Pulp, Paper, and Woodworkers of Canada) and Unifor, were joined by community members, politicians,first nations, and environmentalists in Port Alberni in a rally for sustainable forest policy in BC.
Vancouver Island old growth on brink of collapse, environmental group claims
Sierra Club of B.C. calls on provincial government to support transition to second growth logging
CBC - Stefan Labbé, July 18, 2016
This spring, the Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce pitched a bold policy to the 36,000 businesses that make up the B.C. Chamber of Commerce (BCCC). Its bottom line: old growth forests have greater economic value as a tourism attraction than as logs. "We raised the flag and said, 'Hey, it makes more sense to bring the tourists in than to take the logs out,'" said Hagar. The policy was overwhelmingly supported by members of the BCCC, and this week, management will individually write each of the B.C.'s ministries outlining their new policies.
About five years ago, the Ancient Forest Alliance successfully lobbied the B.C. government to protect Avatar Grove, a cluster of 80 metre-tall old growth Douglas fir and western red cedar thought to have sprung up 800 years ago.... That's when Hagar really started to notice some changes. 'People love history and people love this idea of environmental tourism,' he said. 'Old growth, big trees are good for business.'
The fight to save Echo Lake's old trees and wildlife has begun
The Globe and Mail - Mark Hume, July 10, 2016
Here's a new story in today's Globe and Mail about the old-growth forest campaign, spearheaded by local landowners Susan and Stephen Ben-Oliel and supported by the Ancient Forest Alliance, to protect all of the forests in the mountains surrounding Echo Lake (a rare lowland old-growth forest between Mission and Agassiz in Sts'ailes territory, and also the world's largest night-roosting site for bald eagles) from logging:
“Echo Lake is home to the largest night-roosting site for bald eagles on Earth,” said Mr. Wu, who in 2012 launched a campaign to save the area, then slated for logging.
In 2013, the British Columbia government set aside 55 hectares, protecting just over half the old-growth cedars and Douglas firs around the lake.
Mr. Wu wasn’t satisfied and since then has been pushing for the addition of another 40 to 60 hectares to the reserve, which would protect the key eagle area. “That would get the bowl, essentially the mountain and forest that rings Echo Lake. So it should be a no-brainer at this point,” he said.
New calls for a moratorium on old-growth logging
Business interests, scientists, environmental groups and First Nations call for new policy on the Island’s remaining old growth
Focus Magazine - Briony Penn, July 1, 2016
Here's a new Focus magazine article by Briony Penn about Vancouver Island's old-growth forests, featuring forest ecologist Dr. Andy MacKinnon, Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce president Dan Hager, Jens Wieting of the Sierra Club, AFA, Ahousaht and Tofino councils, and the growing support among businesses, chambers of commerce, and municipal councils for protecting BC's old-growth forests.
Echo Lake At Risk
Ancient Forest Alliance, July 9, 2016
The Echo Lake Ancient Forest east of Mission is a very rare lowland old-growth forest in the Lower Mainland and is the world's largest bald eagle night roosting site. It is home to numerous species at risk, and is in the unceded territory of the Sts'ailes First Nation band. As many as 10,000 bald eagles gather in the fall to eat the salmon in the nearby Chehalis, Harrison, and Fraser Rivers, and as many as 700 are known to roost in the old-growth and mature trees around the lake at night. The south side of the lake has been protected in an Old-Growth Management Area, which the north and west sides are currently at risk of potential logging, including stands of giant western redcedars. This week the construction of a new logging road is expected to begin, while initial surveying of the giant cedars for logging has already begun. See some photos here by the Ancient Forest Alliance's TJ Watt. See the recent media release at: http://ancientforestalliance.org/news-item.php?ID=1023
MEDIA RELEASE: Rare Lowland Old-Growth Forest at Risk – Road-building and Logging Surveys Underway at Echo Lake, the World’s Largest Night-Roosting Site for Bald Eagles, east of Vancouver
Ancient Forest Alliance, July 7, 2016
Road-building is scheduled to begin this week and preliminary logging surveys of the old-growth redcedars are underway by Echo Lake, an extremely rare, lowland old-growth forest about 2 hours east of Vancouver between Mission and Agassiz. Echo Lake is part of the drinking watershed for local people, is home to the largest night-roosting site for bald eagles on Earth, and harbours much wildlife including bears, cougars, bobcats, wintering black-tailed deer, osprey, numerous bats, and various Species at Risk. Local landowners and conservationists are redoubling efforts to convince the BC government to protect the endangered north and west sides of the lake.
Sustainable Forest Rally (July 22, Port Alberni)
Ancient Forest Alliance, June 30, 2016
The Ancient Forest Alliance will be supporting the forestry workers with the Pulp, Paper, and Woodworkers of Canada (now the Public and Private Workers of Canada) at a rally they are organizing in Port Alberni on July 22. Please come out if you can in solidarity with them and local Port Alberni activists to support a sustainable, second-growth forest industry and to end the export of raw, unprocessed logs out of Canada! https://www.facebook.com/events/1342362639111734/
Photo Gallery: Avatar Boardwalk Construction - June 18/19 2016
Ancient Forest Alliance, June 22, 2016
For the second time this month, volunteers have worked with the Ancient Forest Alliance to construct boardwalk at the Avatar Grove. This round was a huge success! Together we completed 50+ feet of new walkways over many of the areas that flood in winter time and added a beautiful staircase leading off the road to our new viewing platform in the Lower Grove. Volunteers also worked hard to add mesh traction to the many steps, cut and carried over 100 planks of wood into the bush, mixed cement and moved heavy rocks, and did it all with a great attitude and smiles. Thank you all so much!! We're making tremendous progress thanks to the help of the many dedicated individuals who've come out and the donations made by AFA supporters and local businesses. We're working to finish the boardwalk this summer, hopefully after 1 or 2 more work parties. The boardwalk is necessary to help protect the area's ecological integrity and improve visitor access and safety. Stay tuned for further info if you'd like to help out, contact boardwalk coordinator TJ Watt: email@example.com Trail building or construction experience is an asset (we can use more of you!) but not required.
See the photo album at: https://www.facebook.com/ancientforestalliance/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1061996910561562
To donate to the boardwalk construction, please visit: https://www.ancientforestalliance.org/boardwalk-donation.php
Photo Gallery: Cameron Valley Ancient Forest with the Vancouver Sun
Ancient Forest Alliance, June 22, 2016
Last week Vancouver Sun's columnist Stephen Hume came with us to see the endangered Cameron Valley Ancient Forest (ie. "Firebreak"), a truly spectacular lowland stand of densely-packed, monumental old-growth Douglas-firs akin to a "second Cathedral Grove". This grove stands out as among the finest remaining old-growth Douglas-firs anywhere left on the planet and is of international conservation significance.
See the photo album at: https://www.facebook.com/ancientforestalliance/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1061910110570242
Axing old growth a crime against nature
Vancouver Sun - Stephen Hume, June 15, 2016
The Vancouver Sun's columnist Stephen Hume came with us to see the endangered Cameron Valley Ancient Forest (ie. "Firebreak"), a truly spectacular lowland stand of densely-packed, monumental old-growth Douglas-firs akin to a "second Cathedral Grove". This grove stands out as among the finest remaining old-growth Douglas-firs anywhere left on the planet and is of international conservation significance. Please share and add your voice to the comments section at the end!