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 ...
Sign up for our e-mail list to receive info on events, rallies, news and hikes. Your name and e-mail address will only be used for this mailing list and never given to any other organization or individual.
Recent Ancient Forest News
Playing with words regarding Tree Farm Licences
250 News - Peter Ewart, April 3, 2014
"When you drill down past all the headings and references to Area-based Forest Tenures on the Ministry’s website and in its Discussion Paper, it becomes clear that what the Ministry is proposing is a rollover of volume-based licences into one particular - and highly controversial - type of area-based tenure, i.e. Tree Farm Licences (TFLs).
So, rather than a Discussion Paper on Area-based Forest Tenures, the Discussion Paper could be more accurately described as a Discussion Paper promoting the benefits of Tree Farm Licences and defining the criteria for rollover to these TFLs. Why confound the terms and cause confusion? Why not make it crystal clear, with no ambiguity, that this whole exercise is about TFLs alone? Well, Tree Farm Licences have always been controversial in BC. Just last year, the Minister of Forests tried to push through legislation allowing for large-scale conversion of existing timber licenses into TFLs. Many in the province felt that this move would be a giveaway to the investors and shareholders of a few big companies at the expense of other sectors of the forest industry, First Nations and the population as a whole. In the face of widespread opposition, the Forest Minister was forced to withdraw the legislation."
BC Liberal Government Revives Proposed “Forest Giveaway Scheme” for Major Logging Companies on Public Forest Lands
Media Release: Ancient Forest Alliance, April 2, 2014
Revived proposal would entrench the status quo of unsustainable overcutting by granting exclusive logging rights to major timber companies over vast areas of public forest lands by expanding Tree Farm Licences.
B.C. announces plans to revamp its timber supply system for forestry firms
The Province, April 1, 2014
Forests Minister Steve Thomson says the Liberal government is taking another shot at giving forest companies more rights to control British Columbia's public forest lands, but he rejects criticism that the plan would privatize provincial forests. The move could dramatically change the way public forests are managed by granting lumber companies tenure rights, or logging rights, to large pieces of land. Companies are currently allotted timber harvest rights on a specified numbers of trees. Plans to amend the Forest Act last year to move towards area-based tenures were dumped after a public outcry.
B.C. government reopens timber rights talks
Times Colonist - Lindsay Kines, April 1, 2014
Critics argue that giving forest companies increased control over Crown land spells disaster for the environment and makes it more difficult to settle First Nations treaties. “When companies say they want greater certainty over the land base, what they mean is greater certainty against conservation measures and treaty settlement,” said Ken Wu, executive director of the Ancient Forest Alliance. “There’s a lot of other users and a lot of other values on those lands besides large-scale logging.” NDP forests critic Norm Macdonald said there is no evidence that allowing exclusive rights in a timber area benefits anyone other than the big forest companies, many of whom are major donors to the B.C. Liberal Party.
Timber companies can't see the consequences for the trees
Globe and Mail - Justine Hunter, March 30, 2014
British Columbia is in the midst of an unprecedented and unsustainable salvage operation in its interior forests because of the attack of the mountain pine beetle. And yet, when two of the province’s biggest forestry companies were caught going into those woods and cutting truckloads of healthy green timber meant for future harvests, Forests Minister Steve Thomson’s reaction was as mild as a milk-sated kitten. After forestry-ministry staff raised alarms, Mr. Thomson signed an order that could have led to hefty penalties for Canfor and West Fraser for taking greenwood in an area where they were supposed to be targeting the dead and dying pine. In defiance of the chief forester’s order, set down in February, 2008, the two companies overcut 928,000 cubic metres worth of healthy trees in the Morice Timber Supply Area, around the community of Houston, in B.C.’s northwest. But the minister’s order was rescinded after the companies – both heavy contributors to the governing B.C. Liberal party – agreed to behave. The past is forgiven, no need for consequences.
Comment: Forest, parks bills should be open to debate
Opinion Piece by Arnold Bercov of the Pulp, Paper, and Woodworkers of Canada (PPWC) and Stephanie Goodwin of Greenpeace
Times Colonist - Arnold Bercov & Stephanie Goodwin, March 14, 2014
On Feb. 25, two proposed bills, Bill 4 and Bill 5, entered their second reading and almost no one noticed. If passed, the two amendment bills — known as the Park Amendment Act and the Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Statutes Amendment Act — would adversely affect forest-based jobs and our protected areas network, which are anchors for the motto “Super Natural B.C.”
Overharvesting - Who is watching our forests?
BC Liberal government lets Canfor and West Fraser overcut and get away with breaking the rules.
250 News - Peter Ewart, March 24, 2014
"It is an outrageous amount. According to a document from the Ministry of Forests that was recently brought to light in the provincial legislature (1), for the five years between 2008 – 2013, the forest company giants, Canfor and West Fraser, overcut 928,000 cubic metres of non-pine wood in the Morice Timber Supply Area (TSA), a region in north-western British Columbia. This overharvesting was done in direct violation of the Allowable Annual Cut (AAC), and is equivalent to about 23,000 logging truck loads of timber."
VIDEO: Canada's second largest Douglas fir tree may have been found near Port Renfrew
Comprehensive coverage including TV news video, photo gallery and written article.
Global News - Yuliya Talmazan, March 27, 2014
Activists with the Ancient Forest Alliance say provincial government should do more to protect the province’s biggest trees. “There is an urgency to protect these areas because old-growth logging continues right near Port Renfrew,” says Watt. The organization has been calling for provincial legislation to protect big trees and monumental groves.
See here for comprehensive coverage including TV news video, gallery of photos and written article on Global TV's website.
VIDEO: Giant tree nicknamed 'Big Lonely Doug' stands along in clear-cut
Global TV - Kylie Stanton, March 28, 2014
Global TV's (BC's largest TV news station) main news piece about "Big Lonely Doug", which may be Canada's 2nd largest Douglas-fir. Global TV joined the AFA's TJ Watt and Ken Wu on a tour of the tree and clearcut yesterday.
VIDEO: Big Lonely Doug
Global TV - Yuliya Talmazan, March 28, 2014
Global TV "pre-news piece" snippet using the AFA's still photos about Big Lonely Doug, which may be Canada's second largest Douglas-fir.