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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Clearcut Logging

 Click to enlarge
Clearcut rising above the beauty strip near Tofino British Columbia.

Clearcut Logging, What is it?

The photo above is an example of clearcut logging. It is economical, destructive, and the most common form of logging performed by the industrial logging industry. All trees in a "cut block" are cut down leaving no protection for the remaining soil or animal life. If a clearcut cut block is in the vicinity of a stream or river the soil run off usually will end up in the adjacent stream or river causing flooding and silting of the stream. The effects are so devastating that resulting floods can destroy houses, private property and whole communities. Silting of these streams usually result in the extinction of the salmon and trout runs unique to those streams.

In the photo above you can see where slides are moving down the steep grade of the hill. Ultimately the debris from this slide will foul pristine streams.

Logging companies aren't currently being held responsible for this type of destruction so the real cost of a two by four is still relatively cheap.

Society continues to subsidize the logging industry by allowing clearcut logging to continue on. If the timber industry was held accountable for the costs associated with flooding and salmon spawning habitat destruction clearcutting would be eliminated immediately. Until this happens the timber industry continues to be one of the largest recipients of corporate welfare in the world.

Clearcut Logging in BC.

Why do industry pundits in Canada continually ignore the clearcut logging disaster in Washington State?
clearcut_national_forest_concrete_6x_opt.jpg (12874 bytes)
Clearcut in a National Forest near Concrete Washington.
Clearcut Logging in BC.
Why do industry pundits in Canada continually ignore the clearcut logging disaster in Washington State? The short answer is simple. The public out-cry would force them to stop clearcutting in British Columbia!

Since the history making 1993 logging protests in Clayoquot Sound the British Columbia government has implemented their highly touted Forest Practices* Code. They tried to "sell" the Code to the world as "The most stringent set of logging regulations in the world." This claim has since been proven false by the report, Forests on the Line, published by the Natural Resources Defense Council. This report compared the logging regulation in the National Forests of Washington State to the BC Forest Practices Code.  In every comparison, the BC Forest Practices Code was not as strong as Washington law.

The irony here is that Washington State is now facing the consequences of clearcut logging, rampant flooding, property destruction, corporate welfare and salmon extinction.

Meanwhile British Columbia continues to ignore Washington's example of how not to manage forests and salmon.
(See Clearcut Logging)

Corporate Welfare

Clayoquot Clearcut by Valerie Langer- FOCS
New clearcut in Clayoquot Sound. This clearcut
was approved by British Columbia's highly touted

Forest Practices Code.  Note the salmon stream that
has been destroyed by the "improved" logging practices.
Click here to see more...

Corporate Welfare. What is it?
Corporate Welfare is one of the biggest obstacles facing the environment. In fact when it comes to corporate welfare the clearcut logging industry is on the dole in a big way.

Examples of Corporate Welfare.

In the National Forests of the United States the US taxpayer foots the bill for all the logging roads. In fact logging roads make up the largest road system in the U.S., all at the taxpayers expense.

In British Columbia the forests are owned by the public and multi-national corporations are given Tree Farm Licenses (TFL) to log the public land. These companies pay a "stumpage" fee for the trees that they log. These fees are so low that that American logging industry claims that Canadian logging is even more subsidized than the American logging industry. Thus the American logging industry wants to maintain tariffs on lumber shipped from Canada to the US. In 1999 the BC government was talking about streamlining their newly implemented Forest Practices Code and lower stumpage fees. This will increase corporate welfare to multinational corporations logging in British Columbia and make it more affordable to log the last pristine forests in North America. This in turn will destroy the last remaining pristine salmon spawning habitat and grizzly bear habitat left in British Columbia. (see photo above)

In Canada and the U.S. , flooding, salmon spawning habitat destruction, property damage, and species extinction are just a few of the by-products of clearcut logging. Once again the clearcut logging industry is not held accountable and society is left holding the tab for repairs. Unfortunately destruction of salmon habitat and salmon runs are in most cases not repairable.

In this day and age of politicians cutting social welfare its high time our elected officials cut the excessive corporate welfare that is handed out to some of the richest corporations in the world.


* Ironically in 2003, the majority BC Liberal Party has started to "streamline" the Forest Practices Code.


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