April 13, ’21. Old-growth logging continues in BC, and so does the resistance

GARY DIERS FROM ARGENTA TALKS ABOUT STOPPING CLEAR CUT ON SALISBURY CREEK

LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD THE APRIL 13 SHOW:

The long-running War in the Woods emerged as the top topic for this show.  The WilletWildernessForever.ca campaign has announced emergency action to prevent logging on the mountainside between Argenta and Johnsons Landing.  The local campaign has been running for years to get that face of mountains, running along the northeast side of Kootenay Lake, added to the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy… and soon they fear it will be too late.  We have an interview with Gary Diers from Argenta.

On April 1 a judge in Victoria issued an injunction against the Fairy Creek blockade camp to keep logging out of the Fairy Creek watershed, the last unlogged old growth watershed on southern Vancouver Island.  Since then several more Rainforest Flying Squad camps have sprung up, and the Fairy Creek movement could even spread across the province.  We talk to Jesse Demers, who lived in Nelson a few years, but is now in Victoria. She’s joined the old-growth campaign and gives us an update.

We have some of the exchange between Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau and Forestry Minister, Katrine Conroy in the provincial Legislature about Fairy Creek and old growth logging.

ENVIRONMENT EVENTS

April 18 Sunday at 3 PM PDT

KICK FOR EARTH WEEK from Coast Protectors, Rainforest Action Network. Begin Earth Week as a unified movement determined to fight for Indigenous Rights and climate justice. It’s from Coast Protectors, Rainforest Action Network and 4 other organizations.

They say: we’re preparing to fight for the climate like never before as US President Biden’s April 22 global conference on climate kicks off a 7 month countdown to potentially the most important global conference in history, the Conference of Parties, COP 26 in November in Glasgow, Scotland.

Featuring:

Casey Camp Horinek is Councilwoman, and Hereditary Drumkeeper of the Womens’ Scalp Dance Society of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma and a longtime activist, environmentalist, actress, and published author.

Kukpi7 Judy Wilson is the Secretary – Treasurer of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC). Chief Wilson is chief of the Neskonlith Indian Band of the Secwepemc Nation.

~More speakers to come

RSVP here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83147222035

Wednesday Apr 21 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Webinar: Crafty Ways to Slim Your Waste @ Zoom Webinar

Juggling work and play can be tough even without a global pandemic, so how can parents who are concerned for their kids and the environment decrease their household waste? As a parent, blogger and Nelsonite, Lyne Chartier will join us, sharing their “waste-slimming” tips and tricks. Read up on Lyne’s work with Slimmer Waste and join us for our upcoming webinar.

RSVP Here 👉👉  https://bit.ly/3rPgLPp

Thursday, April 22 3:30 pm facebook live

April 22 is Earth Day.

Touchstones Nelson Museum invites you to participate in ‘Good News for Earth Day’ on Thursday, April 22nd at 3:30pm on facebook live. ‘Good News for Earth Day’ is a positive panel discussion and celebration of some local environmental achievements as well as other good news. The discussion will be followed by a Q&A. 

Panel includes Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society, Slimmer Waste Recycling, Friends of Kootenay Lake, Fridays For Future: Nelson, Sarah Sutton from Sustainable Museums, and Author of Protectors Of The Planet: Environmental Trailblazers from 7 to 97 Jamie Bastedo. 

Go to the Touchstones facebook page to join the fun.

Soon as possible Protect Old Growth

Anytime this week is a good time to join the local willetwildernessforever.ca campaign to prevent logging on the shores of Kootenay Lake.  They have issued an emergency alert because logging could begin on the mountain slope between Argenta and Johnsons Landing this season.

Find out what you can do on the website.

https://www.willetwildernessforever.ca/take-action

www.willetwildernessforever.ca

 LastStandforForests.Com. which is the website for the Rainforest Flying Squad. Lots of information and ways to join in there.

On facebook: you can look for Fairy Creek Blockade or Rainforest Flying Squad.

And Fairy Creek Blockade and Rainforest Flying Squad are also on Instagram.

And if you want to donate:

goFUndMe: Direct Action for the last Ancient Rainforests

And there is also a fundraiser for the Eden Grove Artists in Residence program at goFundMe

ENVIRONMENT NEWS

Concentrations of Carbon-dioxide in the earths atmosphere have passed yet another grim milestone. For the first time in history atmospheric CO2 passed 420 ppm at the Mauna Loa Observatory on Hawaii. 

Manmade emissions from the burning of fossil fuel are primarily to blame, however the UK’s national weather service also points to enormous levels of human caused deforestation as another main contributor.

Earth’s atmospheric carbon is now at its highest level in 800,000 years, 50% higher then it was at the beginning of the industrial age.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/07/carbon-dioxide-levels-in-atmosphere-reach-record-high

Japan plans to release more than 1 million tonnes of radioactive contaminated water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific ocean, the government announced recently.

The plan is a desperate final solution to the huge stored amount of water contaminated by the nuclear disaster, over decade ago.

The prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, told a meeting of ministers on Tuesday that the government had decided that releasing the water into the Pacific Ocean was the “most realistic” option, and “unavoidable in order to achieve Fukushima’s recovery”.

The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power [Tepco], and government officials say tritium, a radioactive material that is not harmful in small amounts, cannot be removed from the water, but other radionuclides can be reduced to levels allowed for release.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/13/fukushima-japan-to-start-dumping-contaminated-water-pacific-ocean

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The Navajo Nation in Arizona is moving forward with two more solar plants on the reservation that are expected to generate millions of dollars in revenue for the tribe over the projects’ lifetimes.

Tribal leaders met at the site of the larger solar plant in Cameron on Tuesday to finalize the lease for the Cameron Solar Generation Plant. A committee of the Navajo Nation Council had approved the lease in late March.

Tribal President Jonathan Nez said the solar plants are part of a move toward renewable energy sources. On Wednesday, tribal officials gathered near the Arizona-Utah border to finalize a lease for a 70-megawatt solar plant there. The tribe has two other solar plants near Kayenta.

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The Canadian government has a huge problem with the state of Michigan’s deadline to close the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline, the primary feed for the fossil fuel refineries in Sarnia Ontario.     

But the federal government’s insistence on keeping the pipeline contradicts the longstanding cross-border commitment to protect the Great Lakes from harm, says an experienced U.S. advisor.

Michigan is very concerned about Line 5 and what will happen if—when—the pipeline literally busts open under the Straits of Mackinac.

And it is only a matter of time before that happens, she adds: “The danger of a breach of this age-compromised pipeline spanning a major shipping lane in the world’s largest freshwater body increases with every passing day.”

Enbridge has had a poor record in Michigan with the “massive” 2010 Line 6B rupture into the Kalamazoo River that flows into Lake Michigan There also have been serial failures when the pipeline has been damaged by ships dragging anchors through the straits, and 4.2 million litres already spilled into the watershed by small line breaks.

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A long time campaign is being rekindled to protect the pristine Robson Valley watershed on the Alberta Border west of Jasper.

Local residents have worked for years to get the entire Raush River area protected from development. 

The watershed is spawing ground for chinook salmon, acts as a wildlife corridor, and feeds the Fraser River headwaters.

The Raush is a wildlife corridor between Wells Gray Park and the upper Fraser River. It is the largest, intact tributary to the Fraser that’s not protected, said Roy Howard of Fraser Headwaters Alliance, a volunteer-run conservation group based in Dunster.

https://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/news/region/residents-opposed-to-proposed-logging-road-in-fraser-headwaters-1.24304621?fbclid=IwAR11gBAaeTZSu_RwMBg0UuzHDq3PV_mLCSKaL8NMEImuEcW7iEUix9jhGxA

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This past weekend in Regina Saskatchewan two electric vehicle groups held demonstrations on Saturday against the provincial government’s proposed $150 tax on electric vehicles. 

The Saskatchewan government has done little to encourage the uptake of the new technologies and while other provinces are heavily subsidizing electric cars, the province proposed a tax in the recent budget.

SaskEv Society president Jason Cruickshank said the tax was disappointing, as the province currently only has about 400 electric vehicles, compared to 40,000 fully electric vehicles in British Columbia. 

In BC, at the recent Council of Forest Industries meeting BC Premier John Horgan promised to help a forest industry that is experiencing record profits at the same time as it is closing mills around the province.

And the COFI has come out with a study that estimates the forest industry in B,C, employs 100,000 people directly or indirectly.

The industry is currently enjoying a bonanza of high lumber prices, they will eventually come down again, and high operating costs and a shrinking annual allowable cut (ACC) could resulting in more mill closures and job losses.

B.C.’s forest industry has been through two years of bust and boom. In 2019, forestry companies were reporting net losses, permanently shuttering sawmills and curtailing shifts in B.C. They blamed high operating costs,  stumpage rates being a big factor, and falling lumber prices and an ever-shrinking supply of trees.

Despite a pandemic, 2020 proved to be a huge proffit year for B.C. forest companies, as a demand for lumber – through new housing starts and repairs and renovations in the U.S. and Canada – dramatically increased the demand for lumber, pushing lumber prices to record highs.

https://biv.com/article/2021/04/horgan-warns-forest-industry-possible-tenure-take-backs?fbclid=IwAR0LRLMAgTjcdu34CZ8zQt76W0tIj8y5IbgRXkqU35b6MX_cZnBDR8OVf4U

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Hundreds of activists are digging in at logging road blockades on southern Vancouver Island. The activists say they are ready to stay as long as it takes to pressure the provincial government to immediately halt cutting of the last 3% of giant old growth trees left in the province.

The situation echoes the 1993 “war in the woods” in nearby Clayoquot Sound, which saw nearly 1,000 people arrested at similar logging blockades in the largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history.

The Rainforest Flying Squad movement started more than eight months ago, when an impromptu blockade of 12 people sprang up to stop road building into the headwaters of the Fairy Creek watershed, one of the last untouched watersheds in the region.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/09/canada-logging-old-growth-trees-vancouver-island

New York’s multi-billion-dollar government-run pension fund announced today that it’s pulling investments worth more than $7 million out of some of Canada’s major players in the oilsands.

The New York State Pension Fund — the third largest such fund in the United States — said it would be selling off securities in several Canadian oilsands companies. At least 7 companies are named, however Suncor, one of the biggest oil sands companies, was noticeably not on the divestment list.

State comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a press release that the move was to divest from companies that did not have a plan to transition to a “low-carbon future”.

DiNapoli went on to say that “Companies responsible for large greenhouse gas emissions like those in this industry pose significant risks for investors.”

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/new-york-state-pension-oilsands-divestment-1.5983730

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Landowners, Indigenous people, and environmental groups from Alberta and BC have sent a fourth letter to Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson asking for a joint federal-provincial review of Montem Resources’ Tent Mountain project in the Alberta Rockies.

The petition also asks for a general review of all potential coal projects in the area. It says the mine would be in an environmentally sensitive region, would affect areas of federal authority such as fisheries and species at risk, and could pollute water flowing into the United States.The letter adds the mine could make Canada’s greenhouse gas targets harder to reach and would be one of similar developments that would have significant cumulative impacts. It would also affect Indigenous rights, something Alberta’s regulatory agency is forbidden by law from considering.

Ecojustice lawyer David Khan said one reason the mine needs federal review is that it would span the Alberta-British Columbia boundary. “Some of the leases themselves are in B.C.,” he said. 

https://theenergymix.com/2021/04/11/albertans-demand-federal-impact-assessment-for-controversial-coal-mine-plan/
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/alberta/article-fourth-request-made-to-federal-government-to-join-coal-mine/

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