Letters to the editor.

Balancing economic needs with preservation of ancient forests

New generation and community continues the cause as it was in 1993 film

Seeing news lately of the Fairy Creek and area blockades, protesting the cutting down of old growth forests, reminds me of the film documentary I worked on, Battle For The Trees, in 1993.

https://www.nfb.ca/film/battle_for_the_trees/

The politics hasn’t changed considerably, and what you see is a new generation and community continuing the cause as it was in 1993. Back then, the only way for protesters to restrain logging companies from decimating old growth eco-systems was to put their bodies on the line to stop logging trucks and be willing to be arrested.

Two years after the film’s release, the neighbouring area of upper Carmanah and Walbran became a provincial park largely because the community of protesters and the film brought the issue to world wide public attention. The film played a large part in protecting some old growth in other regions of Vancouver Island.

The film is not a protest against logging. It examines the battle on both sides, corporate interests and public process. It offers some practical solutions that balance economical needs with preservation of ancient forests.

The last stands of old-growth are being clear cut at an increased rate every year.

Soon they will be gone forever.

That brings me to my thoughts of how old growth can be of great economic value for B.C. tourism. I am sure people from all over the world would gravitate to an accessible adventure in an old growth forest.

With reasonable foresight I think of what a potential paradise this area could be, and it’s an easy two-hour drive from Victoria and from Nanaimo.

The alternative is nothing but an ugly scarred area for short economic gain. The destruction of the rare eco-systems that support huge trees is truly immoral.

I remember Joni Mitchell, whom I knew at art college and whose song lyrics came back to mind: “That you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”

Bob Ennis,

Cowichan Valley

forestryLetter to the Editor

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