Left: Log booms on the mouth of the
Fraser River, 2008, Vancouver, BC.

Over the past decade, raw log exports have surged in British Columbia (BC). Nearly half of all the trees felled on the BC coast were shipped out raw in 2011. Specifically, raw log exports to China have exploded, from 94,000 cubic metres to about 1.2 million cubic metres. Raw logs are transported in booms and barges to ports where they are packed into export containers on ships.

Images of log booms and barges are easily available on public photo sharing sites such as Flickr. These shameful images of greed reveal the corporate lie of "sustainable" forestry. Old growth forest biodiversity is forever destroyed, leaving us with denuded mountains, trashed salmon habitat and sterile industrial tree farms.

Right: Old growth logs on Seaspan Survivor (Haida Monarch), 9 March 2009. Below: Tugboat with old growth log boom outside Campbell River, 26 August 2011.

Without legislation, Canada's unethical export of vanishing heritage cedars and ancient big trees will continue until there are none left and all of BC's wild forests have been converted to industrial tree plantations.

Corporate greenwash may conceal for the present but ever more shrill lies increasingly fail to coverup the dire extent of the ecological crimes. As the killing continues and the ancient forests vanish, generations of citizens will ask why the government did not stop the final wrecking of the big trees that are the hallmark of BC.

Right: Some of the websites that advocate for the transnational forest destruction industry corps and their government handmaidens.

Far right: Aerial view of log booms on the Fraser River, 24 November 2008.

. . . that they no longer engage in the
rapacious removal of primaeval trees

. . . that they act in moderation
so as to preserve the ancient forest biodiversity of British Columbia

. . . and that they uphold and respect
Indigenous Title and Rights

Above: Aerial photo of the sawmill and log booms of the Canadian White Pine Company, Fraser River in Vancouver, c. 1960. Owned by MacMillan Bloedel (click to enlarge). University of British Columbia Archives.

The logging industry calls deforestation "harvesting." Yet when the end result is extinction, a more honest term would be "massacre." One of the largest native species, known as "King Pine," the western white pine (Pinus Monticola) not long ago dominated BC's ancient moist inland forests. Ruthlessly targeted for its high value as wood, including for matchsticks, the ancient tree specimens have today vanished. By the 1960s, the grand groves of white pine had been wiped out in BC due to greed, clearcutting, mismanagement, disease and pests. The Canadian White Pine Sawmill (above) became part of Weyerhauser in 1999 when it bought out MacMillan Bloedel. Ironically the founders of both companies made their early fortunes by massacring the native white pine. With the lucrative old growth fir, pine and spruce timber gone, the logging industry has turned to the monumental "totem" cedar trees and we are currently witnessing their shameful demise.

Left: Aerial photo on Flickr of a log boom on the Fraser River in Vancouver, 2008 (click to enlarge).

Given the knowledge that we have accumulated about the critical need to preserve biodiversity, it is astonishing that the deliberate ruination of intact forests continues into the 21st century. Now that deforestation continues apace in a modern industrial country such as Canada, what hope is there of stopping it in the less developing world?

Right: Aerial photo on Flickr of a huge log boom on the North Fraser River, off University of British Columbia Endowment Lands, 20 April 2005 (click to enlarge).

Left: Log booms on the Fraser River, Howe Sound, off the University of British Columbia Endowment Lands, 1960. Half a century later the huge log booms continue to blight the coastal waters of BC. Above: similar scenes of deforestation can be easily viewed on Flickr.

Even the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia exists under the dark shadow of the logging industry, with one of its primary endowments coming from Harvey MacMillan, who is celebrated as an exemplary citizen rather than reviled as the forest plunderer he was.

. . . that they no longer engage in the rapacious removal of primaeval trees

. . . that they act in moderation
so as to preserve the ancient forest biodiversity of British Columbia

. . . and that they uphold and respect
Indigenous Title and Rights


Above, left and below: Seaspan Survivor log barge. Originally named Haida Monarch, this notorious self dumping log barge facilitated the deforestation of large parts of BC and Haida Gwaii. Originally it was owned by the Kingcome Company along with other cynically named monster log barges such as Haida Brave and Haida Transporter.
The Haida Monarch is one of the largest log barges in the world: it is 129 metres (423 ft) long and 26 metres (85 ft) wide, and can transport 15,000 tons of logs per load. This is equal to the contents of 400 logging trucks, or 12,000 telephone poles. The smaller Haida Brave is 121 metres (397 ft) long and 25 metres (82 ft) wide, with a capacity of 10,000 tons of logs.

Right: Haida Brave with a full load of raw logs. None of the profits have gone to the indigenous peoples who rightfully own the forest lands which have been stolen from them and extensively pillaged. The homeland of the Haida People, the island archipelago Haida Gwaii, has been especially targeted by the forest industry. In the process, the giant Sitka spruce trees native to Haida Gwaii have virtually vanished due to their exploitation as high quality wood for the airplane industry in Seattle during both World Wars.

Left: Haida Brave in Vancouver, 2010. Haida Brave facilitated the profiteering by forest industry corporations such as MacMillan Bloedel. BLOCKADE ENDS ON MACMILLAN BLOEDEL BARGE THE HAIDA BRAVE Protest ends after 38-hour occupation of world's largest log barge Howe Sound British Columbia August 9th, 1996 Greenpeace activists occupying one of the world's largest log barges, the Haida Brave, left the site of the two-day long blockade. Under RCMP supervision, the six activists, who had attached themselves to cranes and the log deck onboard the barge, disembarked the Haida Brave at 8:00 p.m. Pacific time. Said Karen Mahon, one of the people occupying the Haida Brave's crane, "'We successfully blockaded the Haida Brave for 38 hours, stopping it from dumping its load of clearcut rainforest logs. This is only the beginning. Greenpeace is determined to continue to work to protect the temperate rainforests and expose those responsible for its destruction." Satellite mapping has shown that over 50 per cent of the productive rainforests on the BC coast have already been logged. Company plans reveal that half of the remaining intact valleys will be logged or roaded in the coming five years. The Haida Brave and the Haida Monarch travel the BC coast two to three times per week, and on each trip carry the equivalent of 400 loaded logging trucks. Approximately 25-million cubic meters of British Columbia's 73-million meters Allowable Annual Cut is oldgrowth temperate rainforest.

Right: Photo of Haida Warriors in a traditional canoe carved from a single cedar tree, flying the Haida Nation flag, on route to protest against the Haida Brave on 1 August 1996. They stopped the world's biggest log barge with its pillaged cargo of old growth cedars from proceeding through Masset Inlet on Haida Gwaii.

Left: Haida Brave self dumping log barge. Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas took part in the blockade of the Haida Brave self dumper. "How Many Canoes Are On That Black Ship?" he wrote, "The bloated bow of the ship is a great monstrous maw and as if swallowed into the monster's belly a black gut wall rises behind the canoe. A canoe filled with Haida souls and a single red flag flies on a choppy swell as hundreds of ancient cedar logs hang overhead" Black Ship (Spruceroots).

Above: "Haida Brave," Black Ship of Deforestation, anchored in Vancouver's harbour, 2010. In 2004 a landmark legal case was won by the Haida Nation against Weyerhaeuser and the BC government. Yet the Haida must keep fighting to protect their monumental cedars while the goverment promotes the reviled forest industry.

Right: Photo by Ian McAllister of a coastal log barge with old growth rainforest, October 2006 (click to enlarge). Behind the log barge the Heiltsuk village of Bella Bella can be seen. Similar scenes take place everywhere in First Nations communities and must be confronted for being unconscionable acts of cultural genocide by transnational corporations. The rapacious deforestation of BC for Asian markets is deplorable. There needs to be an international convention to protect local communities from being stripped of their resourcs and land.

Above: Spear Flower. The rapacious deforestation of BC for Asian markets is deplorable. There needs to be an international convention to protect local communities from being stripped of their resources by transnational corporations. In 2005 angry BC citizens, fed up with the endless export of raw logs, protested against the Spear Flower, the evil Black Ship, while it was being loaded in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island.

Seaspan’s “Harvester” barge loaded with logs leaves River’s Inlet destined for saw mills on BC’s south coast. It is pulled by the Seaspan King tug. Seaspan has been working on the BC coast in the log transport business since 1898. The Harvester is over 100m long and 24 m wide. Constructed in 1970, it weighs in at 5,880 tons. It is a self-loading and self-discharging barge. Two cranes capable of lifting 30 tons each are fixed to each end. In all it has the capacity of carrying 12,500 tons of logs, roughly equivalent to 550 logging trucks. When it arrives at the mill, the whole deck tilts, and the logs all side off into the water at once.Tim Ennis Photography. Log Boom aerialOld-growth rainforest logs float in a boom, awaiting transport to the mill. River’s Inlet, April 22 (Earth day), 2008.

Straits Logger

Straits Logger and Haida Brave loaded on the transport barge Development Way, Vancouver, British Columbia, 12 April 2012.


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