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General News · 15th December 2012
Reid Wescott
The forest here on the coast has gone through many iterations in the last two hundred years. Humans from Europe, particularly, have been thorough in harvesting this natural bounty and creating a great economy out of a resource that the first nations had only used for survival and culture .
These ancient and giant trees had little ecological impact from homosapians for thousands of years. Then suddenly, on the biological scale , a new race of humans began an assault on the mega forest of the pacific north west and in short order eliminated an ecology that may never be seen again.British Columbia was created by this logging more than the gold rush. People who revere the hard work and ingenuity of the logging industry fail to see how short a time this harvest occupied in the evolution of the temperate rain forest
Disappearing ecology's are common where ever humans have gone.What we have lost we are unsure of.
Although green and growing the forests that we find now on this coast are treated as tree farms ,some are 100 to 150 years old and just beginning to resemble something different than the monoculture nightmares that are recovering clear cuts
We now understand that too many harvests of these forest have sever consequences,not only to the other species that evolved here,but to the soil as well, an ecology that is only beginning to be understood.
Most of us in our complicated and hurried lives have little immediate interaction with the natural world .Our modern civilization actually has an aversion to the inconvenience and unordered nature of nature.Although we are somewhat aware of the mass extinction event caused by our success,and most of us understand the need for clean water and clean air, we seem unable to make the connection between our own personal activities and the world of climate change and the breaking of the subtle links in the web of life we all depend on.Society's long term vision is based on quarterly reports or the next promise of the new political cycle.Little room for the long term planing required in the survival of natural systems.
How can we even begin to think in term of hundreds of years or thousands of species .The only way a change can be had in the way we treat our forest is if we the people change the government's attitudes .A grass-root movement has been the main factor in democratic change around the world. None of it is easy. No one else will do it for you.The resistance to the logging of this recovering forest is about freedom of speech. The right to resist something that is going to effect your water shed,salmon streams ,and countless species is yours.No one else can be expected to fight your fight .
It starts with the people who claim this ecology as their own.Local people everywhere must stand up and protect what sustains them.We are intelligent humans,we are Canadian,we are British Colombians,we are Cortes Islanders,we live here in this small ecosystem, we drink this water , we live with this forest.
I stand here beside this little part of the world and say slow down,take a step back, think about the salmon in this stream and the the minute and invisible web of life we know sustains us.What's the hurry?
Well, the hurry is profit. Time is money.Share holders must receive their share.Securities must be backed by assets. The global market place must full fill its promises.
The problem of all that is eventually the natural world is owned by some very strange people " the Communist party of china",and giant godless corporations who have absolutely no connection to any community or place.
I myself am a hewer of wood . I believe in working with wood for i have always lived with these forest . I love the grain , strength , and utility of wood, I love the result of a hard days work in the forest. I come from a history of primary harvesting. I want that for my grandchildren.These forest do not grow fast . They take many life times to be useful for home and hearth . What is the hurry ? There maybe a shortage of fibre inventory today in some millionaire's mind but i think we must not listen to his need for speed.
Reid Wescott