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Logging of pristine BC island forest to begin in January by Brookfield Asset Management

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  • Logging at more than twice the rate that forest industry auditors say can be sustained threatens the environment and economy alike;
  • Trees logged at younger and younger ages;
  • Successful petitions to the provincial government for forest companies to pull their private holdings out of Tree Farm Licences to avoid regulations aimed to ensure sustainable management;
  • Douglas fir logging, in particular, at a near liquidation pace, with one company’s entire “merchantable” stock slated for depletion in 25 years.
  • A high level of waste of usable wood
  • Loss of jobs because trees are no longer delivered to coastal mills
  • A huge increase in raw log exports from BC’s coast, 62 per cent of which come from private forestlands
  • Tens of thousands of hectares of private forestland being readied for sale as real  estate developments or other “higher and better uses.”

The liquidation of private forest lands means that communities lose essential wildlife habitat and vital ecological services that include drinking water, carbon absorption, erosion and flood control, micro climate stability, and salmonid protection. The present rate of forest liquidation also ignores the long term value of the high end market for BC’s legendary wood by favouring quantity over quality.   

Cutting BC's forests: faster, faster, faster

In 2010, BC log exports increased by more than 50%. More logs were shipped to China than during the previous 20 years combined. In the first three months of 2011 alone, BC’s coast exported 40% or 1.3 million cubic metres of logs, a 300% from the same period in 2009.

Liquidating BC forests to sell lumber to China

With such huge powers at play, it seems possible that all of BC’s private forest lands will be liquidated and sent to China. We clearly need a new paradigm for privately managed forest land. Many communities have protested mightily against the depredation against their water sheds and favorite places: Port Alberni, Cowichan Valley, Port McNeil, Cathedral Grove, and Nanaimo, to name a few. Such protest can seem more like art than strategy, giving expression to communities’ aspirations moments before they are bulldozed under.

But BC's forests have no political voice other than ours. We need to converge for more effective advocacy both for our home forests and for a new paradigm for private forest land management. Our tools include: protests (in January, Cortes Island will be a good place to stand up for forests); fierce opposition to the rezoning of forest land for real estate development; strategic voting through organizations such as the Conservation Voters of BCcomplaints to the Association of BC Professional Foresters for unethical conduct; letters to government and corporate officers (see below) and public advocacy journalism that holds individuals responsible for their corporate actions.

Oh, yes, and signing by the thousands on petitions to protect locally and ecologically significant forests.

Email Addresses:

Protect Cortes Forests:

Reform private forest land management:

Graph below: Forest Management for Global Shareholders

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Great article

Great article Carrie!

 

 

cortes logging

Very informative article , I hope the logging can be prevented, I get depressed by the whole industry especially since i know the lumber from the trees will be used to make what they would call temporary houses in the uk. Cortes is a beautiful place and should be carefully logged .

Not happy with this decision

I completely disagree with this plan and I am disgusted by it. Let's leave the trees alone! Thanks.

Spiked trees

It would be really unfortunate for the logging company if those trees all had chain link fence wrapped around them 10 years ago and have now grown over it ... embedded silently in the wood .. waiting for a chainsaw to snag on it.

@blademccool. It would also

@blademccool. It would also be unfortunate for the trees that would suffer from girdling. There's nothing cool about that at all! Use your common sense. Thanks. Josh M

Tragic

I don't think they're planning on leaving the trees alone.  I used to think Cortes was one big park.  Then I realized it was product.  This is a tragedy, really.

NO LOGGING PLEASE

STOP MESSING UP ARE EARTH!!! PLANT & LOG HEMP AND SAVE ARE PLANET ...

save our forrests

save our forrests

Morons

You people are a bunch of idiots. You think the wealth of the province that you are benefiting from grew on trees. Oops you are right, it did. Trees grow back. You need to focus on real issues of sustainability around the world that are killing people right now.

Carrington

Roberth wrote:
You people are a bunch of idiots. You think the wealth of the province that you are benefiting from grew on trees. Oops you are right, it did. Trees grow back. You need to focus on real issues of sustainability around the world that are killing people right now.

roberts confused

Mitch Burns wrote:

Roberth wrote:
You people are a bunch of idiots. You think the wealth of the province that you are benefiting from grew on trees. Oops you are right, it did. Trees grow back. You need to focus on real issues of sustainability around the world that are killing people right now.

Robert, I wonder sitting here if your some little oblivious Kid sitting there learning to play with your Moms computer. Everything is connected in many direct and indirect ways. In alot of ways this is one cog in the wheel of our lives that is wrong and is maybe not easily matched up in your murky near sighted mind right straight off . This is killing people right now. Comments like yours are truly great in building good just steam in the hearts and minds of us who have our fingers on the pulse. I wish it were as easy as trees just growing back Robert , I really do. Your learn more about this when you grow up into a big boy pants.

Brookfield Asset Management is  destroying long term employment in BC. When BAM bought Weyerhaeuser, it divided the assets into two companies: Island Timberlands to manage private managed forest land and Cascadia Forest Products to manage Crown land tenures and mills. The trees from Island Timberlands privately managed forest are exported to Asia and the US. Western Forest Products (in which Brookfield Asset Management is “a major player”) bought Cascadia Forest Products and closed Vancouver Island mills because, without the private managed forest lands, there weren’t enough logs to sustain it.

Long term employment comes from value-added processing of wood in BC, not in forest liquidation at the rate performed by Island Timberlands and not in “log and flog” schemes that turn forests into residential developments.

 

Leav Le Trees Alone!!!!!!!!!

Man this are crazy !!!! Leave the trees alone !!! 

keep this up and soon we wont have any left !!!

 

Havent you ever see Dr. Suess "The Lorax" ??? 

I mean really people ...

keep the trees alive!!!!

keep the trees alive!!!!

Cortez logging

Many people will not agree with me but we all need the forestlands of BC as an economic base. I hope we have learned from the past what not to do in the future.

As logging will continue we need to move forward logging with care and sustainability of the forests in the forefront of our minds. We have the technology.

Leave what little old growth is left alone, be caring of eco systems and DO NOT send raw logs off shore.

If we are going to cut down trees, figure out a way to keep secondary manufacturing jobs in BC.

Could we not end up with the same economic dollar at the end of the day by cutting down fewer trees, process the logs here and send the manufactured products over seas?

It’s a big province, a big industry and a big problem when logging in this era comes to a small island like Cortez.

When will we learn

IT is not in the job making business - it is in the money making business - when will people get that!  It is not jobs vs the environment.   The planet is not a set of resources for humans to use  up.  It is an ecosystem that humans are destroying.

When will it stop?

Short sighted logging projects like this are a devastating tragedy we naturalists, forest lovers, and realists are being faced with more and more every day. Canada has had over 150 years of sloppy, short sighted logging. Maybe its time to consider alternate, 'sustainable' methods of obtaining wood, that to not destroy our limited forests natural states.
As a local mycophile, botanist, husband and father, hearing tales of forests being killed and stolen hurts me like the loss of a loved one. If only I could project my pain onto those logging companies and loggers...

Where will I (we) teach my (our) children about the forest, if the forest is all destroyed?

Spiking Trees

BladeMcCool wrote:

It would be really unfortunate for the logging company if those trees all had chain link fence wrapped around them 10 years ago and have now grown over it ... embedded silently in the wood .. waiting for a chainsaw to snag on it.

The logging company probably could not care less, but the unfortunate worker who would either lose his arm and be unable to support his family or get killed would probably call it "unforturnate" indeed. It is this kind of thinking that takes the debate nowhere because you are happy to maim or kill someone. It does nothing for your credibility or for your side of the issue.

Occupy Cortes

Ironically, it is Brookfield Asset Management that owns the private park where Occupy Wall Street was given the boot from. Please correct me if I am wrong....  It seems like this might just be a form of retaliation on their part.  Maybe it's time to occupy Cortes Island.

i'm devastated! 

i'm devastated! 

Great find

Stewart, this is a genius find. This is a very useful info that could help us bring this to the forefront.

 

Stewart wrote:

Ironically, it is Brookfield Asset Management that owns the private park where Occupy Wall Street was given the boot from. Please correct me if I am wrong....  It seems like this might just be a form of retaliation on their part.  Maybe it's time to occupy Cortes Island.

Brookfield Asset Management

They've been planning to log Cortes for more than two years now.  Zoe Miles waged a brilliant campaign against them.  MTV's The Buried Life did a great piece on her and the forest and Brookfield Asset Management's CEO Bruce Flatt. The segement ran.  35 million people watched it. And still they didn't change their plans.

This all pre-dates Occupy Wall Street.  It was interesting when Brookfield Asset Management's name emerged as the owners of Zucotti Park, where #OWS began.

I've been spending time on Cortes for thirty years and I used to naiively think the island was one big, magnificent park.  After moving there, I quickly understood that the trees were viewed by the corporations that owned them as product and units.

 

not neccesary

not neccesary

please spare this magic wilderness

Dear fellow humans, 

For the short term benefit of chopping down these trees, there is a very long term cost.  our humanity, clean air, wilderness habitat and dignity as evolving humans depends on saving places like this.  We can do without the fuel, wood or whatever else you are going to make from these beautiful trees.

Please, save them and find a way to benefit our planet by thinking of a bigger vision. 

 

Sincerely,

Tova Ramer

please spare this magic wilderness

There can be no benefit from cutting down these trees that could surpass the dignity and beauty they provide us as human beings.

 

Do not succumb to your short term monetary thirst... instead, walk in these woods and listen to them.  There is much there to learn.

In Harmony,

 

Tova Ramer

Cortes

What can be done at this juncture? This is something that will be so regrettable...not acting will be the bigger regret....what can we do?

Forest Jobs on Cortes

Carrie what do you care about Forest employment on Cortes . Your Treedom inc forest Company has yet to create a single sustainable forest job. Instead its all about residential development.. I remember Stan Meyers asking where your forest plan was some years ago.... Its never been presented to the Public nor Community. Logs are rotting on Cortes island because no one wants to buy them. Instead valuable forest trees are converted to firewood. Did you build your new house out of the Islands vast expanding stands of Diseased Hemlock.... The only ecomony for hemlock wood is to sell it off island. If your truly concerned about sustainasble forest jobs.... then quit shutting them down. The forest is not liquidated if its managed for sustainability and replanted. "Siskin Lane" liquidated the Childrens forest for a residential development.... Thats a fact... Quote=Carrie Saxifrage]

Brookfield Asset Management is  destroying long term employment in BC. When BAM bought Weyerhaeuser, it divided the assets into two companies: Island Timberlands to manage private managed forest land and Cascadia Forest Products to manage Crown land tenures and mills. The trees from Island Timberlands privately managed forest are exported to Asia and the US. Western Forest Products (in which Brookfield Asset Management is “a major player”) bought Cascadia Forest Products and closed Vancouver Island mills because, without the private managed forest lands, there weren’t enough logs to sustain it.

Long term employment comes from value-added processing of wood in BC, not in forest liquidation at the rate performed by Island Timberlands and not in “log and flog” schemes that turn forests into residential developments.

 

[/quote]

BE THE CHANGE

Blessings to our alive Forest beings and animal kingdom, we love you so very much, you are our family and we WILL protect you!

cortes island logging

Get the job done, log the wood and build the roads quick and efficiently to deal woth as least civil disobiedience as possible. Good wood in that bit of land and the area has been logged for 100 years. The quicker the job is done the better, it's a contentious subject, Island Timberlands knows this and they will deal with it accordingly. Keep it safe and use feller-bunchers and processors wherever possible to prevent any human lost-time accidents. Theres good cubic metre rate on fir/hemlock/cedar right now, even Alder is getting good rate. Logging was happening in the Discovery Islands long before these chai-tea sipping hempgranola beatniks came to Cortes. Incidentally search Youtube for Quadra Island Logging, theres a great video showing local logging at work.

Petitions?!

Good heads-up for this ongoing nature-rape; but petitions! No petition has ever achieved anything concrete that was not going to be done anyway. Two words. Earth First! And that's just one way. What's really needed in this case is for IT to no longer exist. That's possible too...

being reasonable

Given that most of us here on Cortes live in wooden houses heated by wood and full of books it seems unreasonable to get onto the 'no trees cut on Cortes' bandwagon.  Persistence in working with corporations to engage in sustainable forestry practices must eventually result in .  We must persist in encouraging them to see Cortes as an opportunity to model these practices and gain big creds on the consumer end.

  There are companies that purchase sustainably harvested wood and consumers that will buy their products.  Even IKEA is considering going sustainable.

  Even though I don't shop at Walmart I am aware that they are moving into the organic and local food movement because there is demand for those products.  Surely if we can convince companies that purchase wood products that there is a demand for sustainably harvested wood.

  Where ever you buy wood and paper products let the company know that you would buy sustainably harvested products if they carried them.  Create consumer demand!  Price is a matter of economy of scale as well competition between companies.

  And for heavens sake, those of you who want to save the forest, spend a few extra pennies and buy recycled toilet paper if you are not already doing so.

 

  And remember Gandhi and Martin Luther King accomplished what they did nonviolently so can we!

  My apologies for this essay length comment.  I'll stop now.

being reasonable

Given that most of us here on Cortes live in wooden houses heated by wood and full of books it seems unreasonable to get onto the 'no trees cut on Cortes' bandwagon.  Persistence in working with corporations to engage in sustainable forestry practices must eventually result in .  We must persist in encouraging them to see Cortes as an opportunity to model these practices and gain big creds on the consumer end.

  There are companies that purchase sustainably harvested wood and consumers that will buy their products.  Even IKEA is considering going sustainable.

  Even though I don't shop at Walmart I am aware that they are moving into the organic and local food movement because there is demand for those products.  Surely if we can convince companies that purchase wood products that there is a demand for sustainably harvested wood.

  Where ever you buy wood and paper products let the company know that you would buy sustainably harvested products if they carried them.  Create consumer demand!  Price is a matter of economy of scale as well competition between companies.

  And for heavens sake, those of you who want to save the forest, spend a few extra pennies and buy recycled toilet paper if you are not already doing so.

 

  And remember Gandhi and Martin Luther King accomplished what they did nonviolently so can we!

  My apologies for this essay length comment.  I'll stop now.

Cortes

This island is a beautiful and natural little Canadian Gem. I understand that we need lumber to some degree... but there's got to be a better way, a more responsible solution. As someone who has visited this island, I sincerely hope that this decision to log on Cortes Island will be reconsidered, and I sincerely hope that it will not happen. It's a beautiful place, with incredible ancient forest, filled with inspiration for so many, it should remain relatively untouched, and admired.

NO MORE!

We can no longer do business as usual on this planet! We have to look beyond the paycheque of today and to the quality of life tomorrow. This may seem as simple as environmentalists against logging, but that would be very short sighted. This fight is part of a much larger picture, the "1%" liquidating resources and assets at the expense of the "99%" and most importantly the environment which sustains life for the "100%". Island Timberlands is a subsidery of Brookfield mangement, wich is a subsidery of T.A Real Estate Value Fund, T.A. Small Cap Value Fund, and T.A. Value Fund, which are all subsideries of Third Avenue Trust, which is lastly a subsidery of Third Avenue Management based out of New York. Cortes forests are simply a number on a spread sheet and being used to balance the funds for share holders as there have been great losses accross the boards in the the U.S markets. They have no care or concern for the local economy or environment and they most definetly do not care about loggers and their lively hoods as they are just disposable tools used to extract their money! Practices such as this are happenning all over the word wether it be oil in the Middle East, diamonds in Africa or water in South America. It can no longer be tolerated and must come to an end.

It is believed that humans only change at the precipice, but unfortunately we do not have that option this time, as it will be far to late! But we will have enough time to make up some sort of story to tell our children as to why we did this and beg them for their forgivness!

re: petitions

Farnish forgets that petitions are often most useful for the network of signees, otherwise yes, they would just be firestarter if the corporados lived in humble wood-heated buildings, or for bum-wipe if they had an outhouse.

And yes Kieth, by my calcs. Island Timberlands has about 4 years in which to cut everything remaining in their little timber empire and run like hell, leaving the ecological and economical wreckage for some ill-managed public pension fund to take on like a millstone around the old folks' necks, just like they took on last year with ransacked TimberWest lands, after donating millions in carbon credits to TW from hospitals and schools so the criminal lying bastards wouldn't log it all to the last bloody stick.

Fly in Google Earth over all of the globo-corp lands on eastern Vancouver Island and you will see the story of our entire civilization's addiction to freedom and growth : Babylonian Overcut writ large. Ancient forests of yellow cedar and yew trees gone for all time, and carbon/nitrogen sinks totally depleted by cutting the juvenile second growth already, watersheds subject to catastrophic seasonal floods which destroy what's left of the coho salmon runs, and pesticide-polluted community watersheds delivering medical problems to urban areas. It's far far worse now than we can admit, because we want to keep having a good time.  I'm not innocent in this epidemic, because I used to work with an axe in those majestic forests for Mac Blo as a teenager back in the 60's.

GRANDFATHERS TREES

Who gets to decide the lifespan of a tree or forest, nature or man ?. Given current logging operations in BC I see the general principle is to kill any tree older than 100 years on a rolling basis and this is "sustainability" at work, hmmmmm. Given that a typical old growth is 200 - 350+ years old and older how would loggers feel about thier offspring being "harvested" when they are about 30 -40 years old which is a proportinate comparable span of thier offsprings lifetimes ?. I think they would not. 

Given the obvious wealth dotted around Cortes in real estate I find it curious that the "wealthier" end of the community has not stepped up and purchased the lot for an eco forest along the line of the Tiber Bay project, their are ways it can be done without any cash actually being given. I wonder why ? presumably they either haven`t actually got the money or they don`t see it as a necessary part of the community they live in ?   

Alternatively Cortes the Island itself may just want to clear a patch of new ground and with the cosmos has selected BAM as the agent of change. All the above arguments are valid, those connected to the island that have the wherewithal to purchase the land have chosen in default to allow this land to be cleared, what is the real problem here ? attachment and empowerment. Those who have not empowered themselves to change things with ensuring they have the weath to purchase the land have become attached to change without thier permission. Follow the money and if you don`t like it get the whole community together creat a multi million dollar pot and buy up everything the island wants for itself after all thats what BAM did, learn from thier example they sought out those who would empower them, gathered in the money and are now using it. What are the wealthier end of the cortes community doing to enable a Cortes Asset Managment fund to be created, I have travelled to Cortes for 10 years and listened to the interminable arguments over lack of funding and empowerment, what i have not heard are solutions being put in place holistically for the whole island, but hey what do I know I`m an outsider as was pointed out to me when commenting on the Cortes community.   Hopefully I will be lviing thier soon and doing my bit as bet as I can. For the record Cortes is a stunning and magical place I would like to be at home in, my path keeps me away from home for a short while,  it was magical before it was logged and it will be again and will always be a gateway to the beyond.     

cortes island logging

"Logging was happening in the Discovery Islands long before these chai-tea sipping hempgranola beatniks came to Cortes"

Hi jonathan I don`t have long hair, nor sip chai tea and what is "hempgranola", I have met loud mouthed, foul languaged, ignorant, intolerant beer drinking rednecks (both thier and in the UK) on my travels. I come from the UK where we cut, slashed burnt and chopped down all our Oak, Ash, Beech, Pine, forests before BC was even thought of, come to think of it many of your loggers are descended from scots, english and irish loggers who moved out to canada when our economy "industrialised" and they went on to harvest millions of acres of 200 - 300 year old trees. We are now replanting, expanding and preserving as many of our woodlands as we can with national forests and a sustainable mixed specie woodland national strategy, we tried what you have done, it doesn`t work neither economically nor sustainably in the long run as we have found out, we have the wisdom of age on our side being over a thousand years old as a nation. Are we going to have to come back and teach you how to avoid the same mistakes we made ? Or is one of our common wealth family finally going to realise it can teach the world a thing or two in sustainable logging ? By the way I travel to BC frequently and have seen sustainable logging in action and clear cut, my son wanted to know what disaster had happened when he saw photos of clearcuts, didn`t believe me when I told him people had done it, (in the UK we only clear cut now for disease purposes) selective logging is the order of the day. Unless of course i "educate" him to believe it is right and proper to slice down several thousands of trees in a matter of weeks and leave the hillside to erode and wash away, come back 30 years later and do it again and again and again, realising we shall never see a tree older than 50 years old, it is zero sum game at the rate canada is harvesting its timber to sell to china and you know it, guess what when you have none left the chinese will go elsewhere, eastern europe, africa, russia etc etc and where will you be then ? your children will have no jobs at all in 30 years time at the increasing rate you are harvesting and you know it in your heart. I wish you well and hope you have a healthy and fully employed life cutting down trees (just not wholesale slash and burn style, thats easy anyone can do that with a couple of days training, even here in the UK).