New company owners must change course in Great Bear Rainforest:
VANCOUVER, June 28, 2011 /CNW/ - 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
"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.
SOURCE Rainforest Solutions Project
For further information:
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
For access to high resolution copies of the photographs, please call
Jason Phillips at the Rainforest Solutions Project, 604-408-7890
Backgrounder available at: http://www.savethegreatbear.org/files/news/Jun_28_2011-Backgrounder.pdf