It’s time for the BC government to curb raw log exports and boost value-added forestry jobs, say unions and environmental groups
Vancouver – Between 2013 and 2016, more raw logs were shipped from BC than during any other four-year period in the province’s history, prompting two forest industry unions and three leading environmental groups to call for a ban on raw log exports from old-growth forests and a bold government action to plan to stimulate BC’s flagging forest sector.
When you stop and think about it, post-Avatar depression isn’t as bizarre a phenomenon as it seems. If news reports and postings on fansites such as Naviblue and Avatar Forums are to be believed, many filmgoers are feeling as blue as those tall, peace-loving Na’vi aliens after watching James Cameron’s stunning 3-D sci-fi epic.
The world’s largest Douglas fir could be at risk, say Vancouver Island environmentalists.
New logging tape marks an area about 50 metres away from the largest Douglas fir in the world in the Red Creek area east of Port Renfrew.
Logging is already prohibited in part of a stand of massive old-growth trees near Port Renfrew that the community and environmentalists want protected, but it’s not nearly enough, say members of the Ancient Forest Alliance.
A section of the stand, nicknamed Avatar Grove, is in an old-growth management area, meaning no cutting is allowed, Forests Ministry spokeswoman Vivian Thomas said yesterday.
Filmmaker James Cameron has spoken before about how his Avatar is a cautionary environmental tale. In a MTV interview this week, he says Fox wanted to remove its "treehugging crap," but environmentalists now want to create a curriculum based on it.
An exceptionally spectacular and accessible stand of newly discovered old growth redcedars and Douglas firs near Port Renfrew has recently been marked for logging. The unprotected forest on Crown lands about 10 kilometers north of Port Renfrew, nicknamed the “Avatar Grove” after the hit movie for its awe-inspiring beauty and alien-shaped, enormous trees covered in burls, was discovered in early December last year by Vancouver Island photographer and “big tree hunter” TJ Watt and a friend.
Some of the giants stretch straight to the sky for 80 metres, while others are bulbous and misshapen, the knots and gnarls betraying their age. The old-growth Douglas firs and red cedars have stood in the valley beside the Gordon River for centuries, but now, in the almost undisturbed grove, the end is spelled out in spray paint and logging tape.