Protesters fear peace in forests

While things are still rocky, a land use agreement with the province and forest companies means the years ahead will be better.

After 20 years of representing B.C. coastal First Nations to negotiate what U.S.-directed activists labeled the Great BearRainforest agreement, a weary Dallas Smith expressed his relief and frustration.

At a ceremony to sign the final agreement in Vancouver last week, Smith, president of the Nanwakolas Council of remoteCentral Coast communities like Bella Bella, joked that he’s finally out of a job. Then he got serious.

“My communities still aren’t better places to live yet,” he said. But the land use agreement with the province and forest companies over a vast coastal area up to the Alaska border means the years ahead will be better.

He said when he started it was like being caught in a divorce between the B.C. forest industry and international environmentalgroups. Dutch-based Greenpeace, its California offshoot ForestEthics and others moved on from their Clayoquot Sound battleto the B.C. coast, looking to continue the blockades against logging.

“It’s the First Nations of the Coast who stood up and said ‘no, this is how it’s going to work’,” Smith said.

How it’s going to work is that logging will continue on 550,000 hectares of coastal forest, with a greater share for FirstNations, and with 85 per cent of the region preserved after a century of logging that began with sailing ships.

Aside from a few diehards who are either paid to protest or can’t get past issuing demands, B.C. aboriginal people have growntired of being used as props in global de-marketing campaigns directed from San Francisco or Amsterdam. The protesters’tactic of organizing customer boycotts that damage far-away economies might be good for international fundraising, but it’sbad for poor people.

Formally begun 10 years ago with $30 million from Ottawa, $30 million from B.C. and $60 million from a group of wealthyU.S. family foundations with a larger anti-development agenda, the land use plan remains under attack.

Among the many protest outfits is Pacific Wild, which has specialized in Great Bear Rainforest campaigns and now needs a newenemy. Their credibility was demonstrated recently when potty-mouthed U.S. pop star Miley Cyrus decided to speak outagainst B.C.’s wolf kill.

Typical of celebrities, Cyrus had no idea about the struggle to preserve dwindling herds of mountain caribou. She barelyknows where B.C. is, a fact made plain when Pacific Wild toured her around the North Coast, far from the Kootenay and SouthPeace regions where the wolves in question actually roam.

Cyrus’s handlers spoon-fed video and statements to urban media, who were so anxious to exploit her global popularity thatthey played down the fact she was at the wrong end of the province spouting nonsense.

After periodically attacking their own B.C. agreement as inadequate, Greenpeace and ForestEthics have moved on to what theycall the “boreal forest,” which we like to call northern Canada. The same bully tactics with forest products customers andproducers have been featured.

This time, a Quebec company that signed an accord in 2010 is suing Greenpeace for “defamation, malicious falsehood andintentional interference in economic relations.”

Aboriginal companies on the B.C. coast will continue to log, including areas of old-growth forest and secondary growth. Theywill continue to export logs as economics dictate. They will continue to harvest animals, including grizzly bears.

And, I expect, they will continue to be subjected to attempts to supervise and direct them by members of urban society’s newreligion, environmentalism.

The leaders of this movement don’t like peace. It’s bad for their business.

Tom Fletcher is B.C. legislature reporter and columnist for Black Press.

 

Just Posted

Musical business owner creates Christmas music CD

Artist has produced album of seasonal favourites

Area taxpayers asked to fund museum staff

Nakusp museum seeks full-time part-time adminstrator

Nakusp agencies to address local housing crisis

Affordable, supported housing projects may break ground in 2018

Baby boom boosts Burton school talk

District would consider reopening if funding available, parents commit

CUPE, Nakusp agree to new contract

There’s labour peace in the village for two more years

VIDEO: When Maia meets Clara

New to dance, Nakusp teen takes on big role in Ballet Victoria’s Nutcracker

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

Moose calves rescued in northern B.C. are ‘golden nuggets:’ researcher

Calves discovered near Prince George in late May. Mother had been killed by a car

Missing Alberta man could be headed to Victoria

Police in Alberta say Vernon “Allan” Pickard has not been heard from since late November

Cineplex charges extra at some Star Wars screenings

Fans are getting a surprise twist at the box office with extra $1 charges for assigned seating

Toddler sent to hospital following dog bite at Vancouver Island daycare

Malamute/husky cross involved in incident at 1200-block of Burnside Rd. West

Provincial Contractor of the Year awards handed out across B.C.

Deputy Minister’s 2017 awards recognize excellence in transportation and infrastructure

Myers high on Canada

AT RANDOM: Mike Myers says it right, eh

Most Read