When the movie Avatar caught the hearts of people everywhere as they empathized with the Navi — a people whose world and way of life was threatened by the intrusion of a huge profit-focused corporation — most failed to realize the same thing is happening here in the real world today, in the West Chilcotin of interior B.C.
Major forestry corporations — West Fraser, Tolko and government-owned B.C. Timber Sales (BCTS) — have extended operations into areas previously considered beyond their reach. Having over cut their own operating areas, they have now marched into the last green forests of the B.C. Interior.
Every day more reports come in from locals of thousands of ribbons encircling trees as the forestry companies compete to claim vast tracts of pristine green forest in the West Chilcotin, with no formal application to government and no consultation with local First Nations and other residents.
If these corporations are allowed to log the vast areas they have claimed, it will devastate a way of life for communities in West Chilcotin that has existed for hundreds of years.
Gone will be the world famous fishing of Nimpo Lake, Tatla Lake and many others. Gone will be endangered Caribou and other wildlife. Gone will be employment provided by wilderness tourism and small-local logging companies that know how to conduct business without endangering sensitive ecologies.
If you think you live too far away for this to be your concern, think again.
It would take almost 100 years for these forests to grow back, forests that beneficially affect the air you breathe and the temperature you feel every day. Think of going on vacation to find that ugly stumps and scarred earth is all that remains of the beautiful landscapes that surrounded you last year.
The Forest Review Board convenes in two weeks, after which it will be too late to protest if they grant West Fraser, Tolko and BCTS the logging rights they wish to claim in the West Chilcotin. Please, write, e-mail or phone the B.C. Forest Practices Board or Minister of Forests Steve Thomson. Write to your local editor or put it on Facebook, but get involved and prevent the large-scale logging of these major corporations in the last green forests of British Columbia.
a very concerned resident of Anahim Lake, B.C.