To the Nanoose First Nation, District Lot No. 33 is a prime piece of forest in the middle of its traditional territory, rich with towering old-growth Douglas firs over which the band holds legal timber harvesting rights.
To neighbours, environmentalists and municipal officials throughout the region, DL 33 is a pristine example of the endangered coastal Douglas fir ecosystem found only in B.C.’s Georgia Basin and Washington State’s San Juan Islands.
NOTE: The following letter to the editor by Dave Lewis of the Truck Loggers Association, who support raw log exports and apparently the demise of union jobs in the forest service, fails to mention that the long-term decline in the coastal forest industry over the span of 20 years is due to the depletion of the old-growth resource (the biggest, best, and most accessible trees in the lower elevations), that ancient forests are worth more standing economically when factoring in tourism, hunting, angling, non-timber forest products, and carbon storage (according to a 2007 SFU study on the Fraser TSA), and that the government’s elimination of processing requirements without any incentives to stimulate investment in second-growth processing and value-added manufacturing has contributed greatly to the demise of a huge section of the industry and the workforce (ie. manufacturing – which Dave Lewis cares little about it seems…) – Ken Wu
On the heels of issuing layoff notices to 294 public service workers Monday, the B.C. government is planning for another round of cuts in the Ministry of Forests by early summer.
At a time when lumber prices are booming but the industry is far from recovering, it’s either the worst time to slash jobs — according to the leader of the Opposition — or an opportune time to cut, according to an industry leader.
You don’t have to drive hours out of Victoria to find old-growth trees or, for that matter, politicians who are hanging onto their seats by a thread.