LETTER: Vancouver Island is more than just logging

Our Valley is poorly served by your blatant bias…

To the Editor,

RE: Loggers block Highway 4, Dec. 15

Our Valley is poorly served by your blatant bias toward industrial logging of the remaining fragments of old-growth forests.

It is cute to post pictures of logging kids, but little is said about the actual future awaiting all children. Fifty years ago, “liquidation of the old growth” was policy, with “the fall down effect” and collapse of the forest industry as an anticipated outcome. Well, here we are.

Both modern science and traditional ecological knowledge about the role of forests—not just for local values like salmon, but globally in regard to the changing climate—have been telling us for years that they badly need protection. Public opinion is clearly in their defence. Any meaningful resolution of First Nations rights should include an intact land base, not clearcuts or debt obligations to log. With other benefits from the forest preempted by logging, any real economic benefit is very doubtful.

Clearly, displaced workers need compensation and assistance, debt relief—things you could advocate for. Forest restoration, salmon habitat enhancement, infrastructure improvements and climate change mitigation measures are all badly needed. Many displaced workers have skills and experience that would be useful. You would do better to promote proactive solutions, rather than defend an obsolete and essentially sociopathic, science-denying outlook.

This Valley, and this island, have immense wealth and opportunity in many ways other than logging. Economic and demographic changes here are leading to future possibilities, but all require an intact ecosystem and the remaining scraps of forest. Instead of insisting on the need to cut the last of irreplaceable old growth, you might think about promoting a viable future for our region.

Michael Mullin,

Port Alberni

forestryPort Alberni