Over the past century of industrial forestry the plundering of the ancient native trees of the Northwest Coast that began in California has continued north to Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska. A 1930s mural in a Washington postoffice celebrates the heroic days of lumbering when the killing of giant trees was viewed as an act of masculine dominance over nature, necessary for progress.

The photo above, taken in 2005, shows an ancient cedar stump on Vancouver Island. This 900 year old cedar tree was the victim of industrial logging. It shows how despite all the talk of sustainability the brutal practice of clearcut logging continues today (right), exterminating the last of the old growth forests.

Not long ago the Northwest Coast had thousands of active sawmills such as the one pictured on the postcard below and huge amounts of the native forest cover was simply burned up as waste. Most ancient forests have now been exterminated. To protect and restore the remnants that have survived the voracious lumber industry, political leadership and international laws are urgently needed.

Above: Clearcut on the Olympic Pennisula, 2007.

Above: Forest activist Ken Wu was interviewed by geographer and environmental writer Briony Penn for an article on old growth forests published in Focus Magazine (August 2007).

Left: Click pages to enlarge.

The article presents a number of compelling arguments for protecting BC's rapidly vanishing ancient forests and concludes that only by urgent political intervention will it be possible to stop the logging industry from exterminating the big trees that are the hallmark of the province.

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