For Immediate Release
TimberWest Logging Threatens Great Bear Rainforest Solution
New Company Owners Must Change Course in Great Bear Rainforest: Environmental Organizations
WASHINGTON - ForestEthics, Greenpeace and Sierra Club BC released photos today that show increased TimberWest logging activity in the southern part of the Great Bear Rainforest is jeopardizing success of the conservation model that was established to protect the area. The region is the largest remaining intact coastal temperate rainforest in the world and home to the rare white Spirit Bear, grizzly bears and rich runs of salmon.
The forests where TimberWest operates are already the hardest hit and the least protected in the region. A reconnaissance flight over TimberWest operations by the three environmental groups shows that the company’s logging is surging in areas critical to the ecological health of the region.
New logging in TimberWest’s operating areas is compromising rainforest and species before the new Ecosystem Based Management system is fully in place.
“TimberWest is the only major logging company in the Great Bear Rainforest that has not supported the Ecosystem Based Management conservation model announced to the world in 2006,” said Eduardo Sousa, Greenpeace senior forest campaigner. “There is already a serious reduction of habitat for species like Northern Goshawk and Marbled Murrelet because of past logging in this area of the coast. Having a laggard as the major operator in this part of the region is a huge concern for us.”
“It is particularly in the south that we need the conservation agreements fully in place today rather than tomorrow, to pull us back from the brink and onto a solid ecological footing,” said Valerie Langer from ForestEthics. “The years are ticking by, and now it’s time to make the change real.”
Earlier this month, TimberWest shareholders voted to support a change in ownership. The new owners are the B.C. Investment Management Corporation and the (federal) Public Sector Pension Investment Board.
“The new owners have to set a new course for their company in the Great Bear Rainforest and take the necessary steps to support the conservation model,” said Jens Wieting from Sierra Club BC. “They have an opportunity to make up for past failings.”
The agreements to protect the Great Bear Rainforest, announced March 31 2009 by the B.C. government, First Nations, environmental groups and logging companies, include a work plan to ensure ecological integrity through the implementation of further conservation steps and to improve human well-being in coastal communities.
For more information, please contact:
Valerie Langer, ForestEthics Coast Program Director: 604-307-6448
Eduardo Sousa, Greenpeace Forests Campaigner: 778-378-9955
Jens Wieting, Sierra Club BC Coastal Forest Campaigner: 604-354-5312
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Founded in 2000, ForestEthics is a nonprofit environmental organization with staff in Canada, the United States and Chile. Our mission is to protect Endangered Forests and wild places, wildlife, and human wellbeing--one of our focus areas is climate change, which compromises all of our efforts if left unchecked. We catalyze environmental leadership among industry, governments and communities by running hard-hitting and highly effective campaigns that leverage public dialogue and pressure to achieve our goals.