Other News

The Forest Practices Board has released its finding on management of Marbled Murrelet nesting habitat under the Forest and Range Practices Act (see the press release below). This Special Investigation was the response of the FPB to the SCCA's complaint in 2006 about Interfor's Sunshine Coast Forest Stewardship Plan, which we alleged did not adequately manage and conserve Marbled Murrelets. The FPB's investigation took more than a year and a half to complete.
The FPB interviewed government staff and Interfor personnel and reviewed the policies of professional associations and certification programs. It dismisses these latter two as having largely no effect. The FPB lays all the blame at the provincial government's doorstep (where it properly belongs).
The SCCA thinks this is a good finding but we were a bit taken aback by the FPB's exoneration of Interfor's position. Interfor is clearly the beneficiary of government's failure to act and has lobbied government against any measures to protect wildlife that do or might constrain timber supply.
You can read the full report online.  

Press release from Forest Practices Board, April 17, 2008

VICTORIA – Despite repeated Forest Practices Board recommendations to act, the Province has not developed a strategy for conserving marbled murrelet habitat, leaving forest professionals and industry with weak direction on what is necessary to ensure the survival of the threatened seabird, says a new board report.

Read Complete Press Release

Formed last January, the Wild Salmon Alliance (WSA) is fighting all levels of mismanagement of Canada’s saltwater fisheries on the West Coast of British Columbia. The litany of abuse includes:
  • management based on political decisions made in Ottawa that are aimed at benefitting the bureaucracy rather than decisions based on good science to benefit fish and their habitat
  • severe cutbacks to field-level enforcement staff, fisheries technicians and biologists
  • the closure of local Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) offices
  • curtailment of the Salmonid Enhancement Program
  • closing salmon hatcheries
  • permitting open net-pen salmon farms to flourish along the outward migration routes of juvenile pink, chum and sockeye salmon, which has resulted in severe depletion of entire year classes and is leading to their potential extinction

WSA's first priority is to force the saltwater aquaculture industry to eliminate open net-pens that degrade habitat and devastate wild salmon stocks (and even juvenile herring on which the salmon feed).

More information about saving wild salmon can be found at Calling from the Coast, Farmed and Dangerous, and Rafe Mair’s Web site.

The Land Trust Alliance of British Columbia has just released a landmark report, Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change through the Conservation of Nature authored by economic and climate change experts, Sara J. Wilson and Richard J. Hebda. This report includes projected impacts of climate change on our ecosystems and conservation strategies to reduce those impacts. The full report can be downloaded from: www.landtrustalliance.bc.ca/research.html.

In “Liquid Gold”, John Calvert claims the BC government has manufactured an energy crisis by claiming that the province will soon run out of energy. Calvert and many other authorities deny that the crisis exists and insist that other options have not been explored. Are we trading low-cost, publicly owned power for expensive privately- owned power that can be sold to the highest bidder anywhere in North America? And how much damage will this do to our rivers, streams and forests?

First Nations and regional government have been asked to "review" over 50 Independent Power Project applications in the Sunshine Coast Regional District alone. There is very little information available about these proposals and no strategic land use plan in effect. Under Bill 30, regional districts have no authority to refuse these applications. Most of the proposals are in or at the heads of Jervis, Narrows and Salmon inlets. The SCCA supports First Nations' rights of review and approval over these projects.

John Calvert will be speaking at Roberts Creek Hall on Sunday, April 27 at 1:30 pm. This event is sponsored by the Council of Senior Citizens Organizations, Sunshine Coast Branch.

A video about IPPs can be viewed online. For more information on IPPs, visit Take Back the Power. A detailed analysis of BC Hydro's energy plan is also available.

A new paper released by the group ForestEthics at the Climate Change conference in Bali says that BC's old growth forests are a hugely important source of stored carbon. For more information about Forest Ethics and a copy of the report (Carbon in the Bank - BC's Forests and the Fight Against Global Warming) visit www.forestethics.org.