Friday, April 24, 2009


Richard Boyce films a special management zone along Klaskish Creek on Vancouver Island, this is the highest standard of logging in BC according to Ministry of Forests.

Last week someone working for Natural Resources Canada contacted me through my website with the following e-mail message: “Hi - I am looking for some dramatic photos of our fabulous old growth forests. Doesn't have to be Vancouver Island, but the big trees are on the west coast. Do you have licensed photos we could purchase for a display for the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers.” After a quick internet search I found their website:

I soon learned that this council includes all of the Forest Ministers and/or Natural Resource Ministers, for every province and territory in Canada along with the Federal Government’s Ministry of Natural Resources. “Governments working in partnership to ensure Canada remains a world leader in Sustainable Forest Management and supports a competitive forest sector.”

Upon closer inspection I realized that this council is the governing body responsible for green-washing the Canadian forestry industry. They lobby foreign governments around the world with presentations, which shows the world that the last of Canada’s old growth forests are for sale. They claim that regulations have changed and the environmental impact of logging has been reduced.

This government council is spending taxpayers’ money to promote a forestry industry, which continues to destroy the ancient forests of Canada at an ever-increasing rate with devastating consequences to both the environment and forestry workers. Logging continues to destroy watersheds while more lives have been lost in forestry in Canada than in the Canadian military overseas in recent years. Raw log exports increase and at the same time far fewer Canadians are being employed in the forestry industry than in past years.

The Canadian Council of Forest Ministers asked me to provide beautiful photographs of an almost extinct rainforest to help sell the last few old growth trees to foreign markets so that mostly international corporations can cut down the last few stands of ancient forest in Canada. I responded with a series of photographs of the ancient rainforest that I have taken over the past few years from all over Vancouver Island, which illustrate the reality of logging devastation.

I also included the following text:

With regards to your request for photographs of big trees, I am very interested in providing you with “some dramatic photos of our fabulous old growth forests.” However, due to the practices of the British Columbia Ministry of Forests there are very few such giant trees left. The biggest, oldest, and healthiest specimens are found only in the lush valley bottoms. Of the original 85 watersheds found on Vancouver Island at least 80 have been clear-cut logged and the majority of those left pristine are having logging roads built into them as I write this letter.

98% of those lush rainforests on Vancouver Island, where the largest, tallest, and oldest trees in Canada once grew, have already been cut down. Much of what little is left is not preserved and will be cut down in the next few decades. Any discrepancy in statistics is due to questionable methods of calculation used by the BC Forest Ministry which includes counting rocky mountain tops, the surface areas of lakes, and areas where trees seldom grow to make up a higher percentage of land mass which has not been logged.

Attached you will find a few examples of my life-long pursuit to photograph the rainforest of Vancouver Island. I have included a proportionate number of pristine images to reflect the current state of this incredible forest. That photo is of a Culturally Modified Tree, which was used more than 150 years ago to extract natural pitch for building, ceremony, and medicinal purposes. Notice that the tree is still very much alive and healthy today although it was used as a ‘Natural Resource’ by several generations of First Nations People.

I followed this with a request to everyone on my e-mail list, to send their own message and photos of logging to the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers. I encourage you to do the same. Their detailed contact information is readily available on their website: