Left: Cedar log dump, Clayoquot Sound,
British Columbia, February 2009. Photo: S. Hare

Canada's industrial trade in old growth red and yellow cedar trees is strangling
Aboriginal cultural tradition and therefore can justly be referred to as racist.
This sell–off of vanishing ancient cedar trees for export markets must be stopped.

Above: Aerial view of a commercial cedar yard in Oregon, published in the National Geographic, 2003. Most of the logs seen here were imported from BC and Alaska. This is because the native old growth forests in California, Oregon and Washington have been virtually exterminated by the wood products industry. Today history repeats itself as the industry moves its slaughter north to Canada's coastal rainforest. Yet there is no international condemnation of Canada's complicity in this grotesque forest destruction, which is similar to what goes on in Brazil.

Left: Chief Almir Surui at a Google Earth Outreach promotional event in 2008. One of the best ways to monitor the logging industry is through satellite technology. Corporate deforestation hides itself behind devious collaboration schemes and green rhetoric to deflect public attention from the sense-less devastation revealed by Google Earth.

Google Earth Outreach assists Chief Almir Surui, head of the Surui Amazon tribe in Brazil, to protect their forest homeland from illegal mining and logging. Google space imagery, digital maps and 3-D depictions of terrain show Surui villages, hunting grounds, sacred and cultural sites, as well as the contested natural resources areas and their encroachment by industry. Similar technology can be used by First Nations to prove ancient occupation and land rights, but only as long as the contested land is not stripped of its ancient forests.

Right: Google Earth Logging Flyover (click to enlarge)

Google Earth was also used to fight a proposed logging plan near Los Gatos in northern California. The plan by the San Jose Water Company was to log 1,000 acres in the Los Gatos Creek Watershed including the largest remaining stand of coastal redwood forest (Sequoia Sempervirens) in Santa Clara County.

The Los Gatos Creek Watershed provides drinking water to over 100,000 Silicon Valley residents. To protect it from corporate and environmental vandalism, the community group Neighbours Against Irresponsible Logging (NAIL) was founded. NAIL remapped the corporate logging plan using Google Earth high resolution satellite imagery (right). Showing the plan this way revealed its true ecological impact on the Watershed.

If the American logging industry dares act with such ruthlessness in California, imagine what it does elsewhere on the Northwest Coast. At almost 37 million people, California is the most densely populated state in the US, covering about 163,696 sq mi (423,970 sq km). By comparison, BC has a population of just over 4 million people and a land base that is over twice as large at 364,764 sq miles (944,735 sq km). The powerful international wood products industry is entrenched in BC and if the vanishing ancient temperate rainforest is to survive, an international boycott of BC's shameful export of old growth cedar is needed.

Left: A photo on Flickr of a log boom on the Fraser River near Vancouver in 2009 (click to enlarge). One log has a number given by the Canadian Overseas Log & Lumber Company. BC's export of logs, lumber, chips and pulp is exterminating forest biodiversity while the logging industry spews out "renewable resource" lies.

Right: BC cedar boom photo on the website of Cedar Direct, a New Zealand company that imports BC cedar for the global wood products market. The photo caption: "From the forest floors of British Columbia to homes of distinction worldwide."

Left: Log boom photo on the website of the CDS Lumber Products Company in Mission, BC. The photo caption: "Our lumber comes in almost every grade, but our primary grade is clear [i.e. old growth]."

Left: Scalers with a big cedar log, Port Alberni, c. 1990. Scalers measure the merchantable value of logs, but never the ecological value of the living tree. This photo is typical of those used to advertise BC's forest industry, although the lucrative days of logging are long gone and thousand year old trees are today rare. Those that survive must be protected by law.

Below: One of the hundreds of cedar mills on the Fraser River, in Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, 2008. The Fraser River is still one of the greatest wild salmon rivers in the world, even after horrific contamination by sawmills and pulp mills for over a century, since colonization. Monumental cedars and wild salmon are an intricate part not only of the coastal rainforest ecosystem but belong also to First Nations' heritage, cultural identity and way of life. Both are being extinquished by industrial society.

From "Chain of Lies" uncovered by Greenpeace:

"The Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the world’s largest tissue product manufacturer and the maker of Kleenex brand tissue products, positions itself as an environmentally responsible company - one that goes out of its way to meet and exceed standards of ecological sustainability. In various published corporate materials and correspondence extending as far back as 1998, Kimberly-Clark has committed to not purchase fiber from coastal temperate rainforests in British Columbia, Canada."

"This position forms a key pillar of the company's 'Corporate Policy on Sustainable Use of Natural Resources,' adopted in December 1991. Since then, in a variety of publications . . . the company has constantly pointed to the fact that it does not use wood fiber sourced from coastal temperate rainforests as a show of corporate commitment to the environment."

"Extensive research conducted in 2005 and 2006 by Greenpeace reveals that these claims are false and that, in truth, Kimberly-Clark is obtaining large amounts of wood fiber that originate from coastal temperate rainforests via their wood chip suppliers. The chip suppliers, located largely in Washington, USA, regularly purchase logs from brokers who ship logs from rainforests, like those found on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada . . . "

Right: Cover of the 2006 Greenpeace publication (Click for pdf)

"Export Clears" = Old Growth

"Beauty" = Extermination

"Sustainability" = Lie

"Our Products" = Our Greed

"Cedar Adds Value" = Shame

"Environmentally Friendly" = Lie

The logging industry is running out of old growth forests on the Pacific Northwest Coast. California, Oregon and Washington State have all been severely depleted of their ancient forests and what little remains is mostly protected. Today some 90 percent of BC's raw logs are exported south to keep the American mills in business.

Right: BC cedar yard. Hundreds of lumber dealers in BC specialize in the commercial trade of old growth trees, called "export clears," for the international market in wood products. In fact, dealers openly boast of their abundant stocks of this vanishing natural resource. Typical is Cedarland Forest Products which brags that it "supplies fine grained, old growth no defect clears."

Left: This photo was featured on the website of the Vancouver Island Association of Wood Processors in 2009 (click to enlarge). The Taiwanese president of the Vancouver based T. F. Specialty Sawmill is standing in front of stock piles of yellow cedar lumber destined for Japan. This killing of ancient trees is comparable to the killing of endangered species such as Blue Whales.

Yellow cedar, or "Chamaecyparis Nootkatensis," is a very slow growing species that can reach great longevity wtih ages well over a thousand years. This beautiful tree was not even discovered by Europeans until the late 18th century and yet today almost all ancient specimens have been annihilated for lumber. Even isolated trees are targeted for helicopter extermination.

Right: Advertising photo offered in high resolution on the website of the BC Canada Pavilion for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. It shows the 13 massive cedar arches in front of the Pavilion which are intended to promote BC Wood, an international lobby group for wood products that was a major sponsor of the BC Pavilion both in Beijing and in a similar pavilion in Torino in 2006. The BC government slogan "Super, natural BC means big business" is heavily promoted in China, especially by the big corporations that sell BC wood products. With the connivance of Canada and BC, the transnational lumber industry openly flogs BC's vanishing ancient cedar trees without respect for First Nations who regard cedar as the sacred "Tree of Life" that sustains them.

Left: Yellow cedar in the Errington Cedar Mill on Vancouver Island, not far from Cathedral Grove, 2006. The photo was taken by Richard Boyce, who estimated the age of the killed trees at some 600 years. The eradication of the big trees in this species from Vancouver Island, where it was discovered and named after the Nuu-chah-Nulth Peoples, is an act of desecration. Logging companies target and highgrade ancient cedar trees, making it increasingly difficult for First Nations to gain access to cedar logs for their cultural traditions. One of the most renowned of all Northwest Coast sculptures is the "Raven" carved from yellow cedar by Haida Bill Reid. It is ironic that while such sculptures serve Canada as "ambassadors," the cedar slaughter continues.

Above: This photo was printed on the cover of the Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Annual Report for 2005-2006. It shows Haisla First Nation artist Lyle Wilson carving an ancient yellow cedar tree in the Museum, while he was the Artist in Residence. The traditional cedar sculpture is called "Wee-git Releases the Light" and tells the Haisla story of Wee-git, or the Great Man. Although the Museum is filled with First Nation treasures carved from ancient cedar trees, the concept of preservation seems not to apply to present day cultural traditions, which are dependent on the continued harvesting of old growth cedar forests.

First Nations believe red and yellow cedar trees have special healing and spiritual powers and each has its own creation myth. Cynically, the wood products industry uses native culture to sell its consumer products such as window frames, doors, saunas, patio decking, outdoor furniture and so on.

Some non native logging companies appropriate native names. Even the venerable "Haida" name is not off bounds, given the long and ferocious fight by the Haida Nation to protect its land from the wood products industry: "Out of respect for these magnificent people and their reverence for Western Red Cedar, Haida Forest Products has adopted this time honoured name to identify the company and the premium cedar products that we manufacture Export Clears" Haida Forest Products.

Right: Advertising brochure in Chinese to promote the Cowichan Lumber Company's export of cedar clears (click to enlarge). Between the photos of commercial cedar yards and lumber piles is a photo of a living ancient cedar tree. Although not identified in the text, this is the famous 800 year old Eike Cedar Tree, the mascot of Tofino in Clayoquot Sound. One of the last big trees to survive the logging massacre around Tofino, a dedicated community effort led to its protection and restoration in 2003.

Right: The "Flower Spear," a giant self loading and self dumping log barge owned by Trans-Pac Fibre (click to enlarge). Based in Vancouver, the company specializes in log exports to Korea, China and Japan that are "high grade, and oversized (old growth)." The Flower Spear photo appears on the website of the Trans-Pac Fibre corporation to advertise its rapacious ruining of BC's forests for Asian markets: Trans-Pac Fibre.

Are there no international conventions to protect both native and non native communities from such corporate crimes? In 2005 angry BC citizens, fed up with the export of raw logs, protested against the Flower Spear, the evil Black Ship, while it was being loaded with its ugly cargo in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island.

Left: Photo collage of Gitxsan totem poles in 'Ksan Village. The photos are used as educational propadanda on the website of the Council of Forest Industries (click to enlarge). This underhanded use of indigenous culture to sell cedar lumber products is unethical. As Aboriginal Heritage, all cedar trees in BC ought to be protected under First Nations jurisdiction and stewardship.

Left: Advertising photo of "Yellow Cedar Export Clears" used on the website of the Vancouver based Alcan Forest Products (click to enlarge). Hundreds of cedar companies operate in BC and belong to international lobbying orgs such as the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association which calls itself the " Voice of the Cedar Industry" and boasts that its member mills have an annual production of nearly one billion board feet and account for more than 65 percent of all the cedar produced in the world. Thus the forest industry with its vested interests continues with impunity to trash the last of the world's endangered old growth temperate rainforests.

The practice by the commercial cedar industry of appropriating First Nations' totem poles and other monumental structures built of cedar such as native schools is deplorable. The "Real Cedar" webpage uses a photo of the Nuxalk's Acwsalcta School in Bella Coola, a community that for decades has been at the centre of protests against the logging industry. Unbelievably, even today the Nuxalk are forced to defend their land at Talyu – site of one of the richest carving traditions on the Northwest Coast as attested by works in museums across the world – from the ravages of heli logging by an affiliate of Interfor.

The Western Red Cedar Export Association boasts that it "provides western red cedar to Belgium, France, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan and other markets around the world." Do these countries understand that cedar trees are pillaged in BC at the cost of aboriginal land rights, culture and irreplaceable rainforest biodiversity? The European Union is currently drafting a resolution to ban the import of illegal timber and regulate the greedy wood products industry under an act called "Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade." Canada has a figleaf, however, claiming its eradication of old growth forests is legal. As long as the international industry – along with its government accomplices – gets away with lies and greenwash, there will be no change until the ancient rainforests are gone.

Above: Webpage banner advertising "Real Cedar," a marketing scheme by the American dominated Western Red Cedar Export Association (click to enlarge). The appropriation of the beauty and history of cedar from First Nations is cynical.

To promote the unethical and racist trade in vanishing old growth cedar trees, export companies ludicrously claim to be partners with First Nations. An especially blatant lie used by government and industry is the often recited slogan: "Working Together To Preserve Heritage."

Stop the Annihilation of the Aboriginal "Tree of Life"

Stop the Unethical Trade in Old Growth Cedar

Stop the Corporate Blood Sucking of First Nations

Boycott BC Cedar

Boycott Western Red Cedar Lumber Association

Delta Cedar Products
Downie Timber
Enyeart Cedar Products
Gilbert Smith Forest Products
Haida Forest Products
Northwest Forest Products
North Enderby Timber
Meeker Lumber
OrePac Building Products
Power Wood Corp.
Quadra Wood Products
Selkirk Specialty
Sawarne Lumber
Skana Forest Products
Twin River Cedar Products
Western Forest Products

Service Affiliates:
BW Creative Wood Industries
Cedar Shed Industries
Pacific Engineered Timber

Partners and Retailers:
Cabot Stain
Maze Nails
PPG Machine
Applied Coatings
Weiss Cascade
Bear Creek Lumber
Lakeside Lumber
Liberty Cedar
LS Cedar
Prairie Cedar
Riverhead Building Supply
Rona Corporation
Selectwood Sound Cedar
Specialty Wood Products
Taylor Forest Products

Canadian Associations:
Engineered Wood Assoc. of BC
Professional Foresters BC
Shake and Shingle Assoc.
BC Lumber Trade Council
BC Wood Specialty Group
Be Constructive
Canadian Mill Services Assoc.
Canadian Plywood Assoc.

Canadian Pulp & Paper Assoc.
Canadian Wood Council
Cariboo Lumber Manufacturers Assoc.
Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau
Council of Forest Industries
Forest Products Assoc. of Canada
Interior Lumber Manufacturers Assoc.
Northern Forest Products Assoc.
Truck Loggers Assoc.
Wood Promotion Network

US Associations
American Forest & Paper
American Wood Council
Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau
Forest Products Society
National Assoc. of Home Builders
North American Wholesale Lumber
Northeastern Retail Lumber
Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau
Temperate Forest Foundation
Western Wood Products

Canadian Government
Forestry Innovation Investment
Natural Resources Canada

Boycott Vancouver Island Association of Wood Processors

Aquila Cedar Products
B&C Contracting
BC Coastal Forest Products
Barker Manufacturing
Black Bear Enterprises
Canadian Bavarian Millwork
CAOBA Enterprises
Centurion Lumber
Coastal Pacific Forest Products
Ditidaht Forest Products
Dove Creek Timber Sawmill
E. Laughren Contracting

Errington Cedar Products
Forest Lumber Company
General Hill Lumber
Imperial Forest Products
Island Pacific Wood Products Island TimberFrame
Island West Forest Products
Jemi Holdings Group
Long Hoh Enterprises
Macdonald Inspection Services
Malahat Ecoforest Products
Masse Sales
Metfor Forest Management
Millinear Lumber
O&H International
Oceanside Wood Products

Pacifica Reclaim
Quadra Island Forest Products
Redtree Cedar Products
Rocky Mountain Salvage
Ross McPhee Contracting
Scopa Holdings
Terry Ryan Consulting
TF Sawmill
The Woodland Flooring Company
Timbre Tonewood
Top Notch Log Construction
Urban Milling
West Forest Timber
West Wind Hardwood
Wood's Good Sawmill
Ye Old Dogwood Lumber

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