Cortes Island's Residents Take Aim At Island Timberlands' Raw Log Export Markets

A few of Cortes Island's Wildstands Alliance members

All of us owe The Vancouver Observer our gratitude for their excellent coverage of the Cortes Island resident's ongoing battle to save what little is remains of the old-growth forests on Cortes. Today's article titled 'Cortes Island logging dispute moves to the market' is an important update.

As Tzeporah Berman, a Cortes Island resident and key organizer of the Clayoquot Sound blockade said a couple of weeks ago, "People are here [at the blockade] because they want to make it known that the industrial forestry model doesn’t work for local communities and it doesn’t work for the province. Island Timberlands will destroy ecologically sensitive ecosystems and leave nothing beneficial in its wake. We will be left with devastated ecosystems, a contaminated water supply and no long term jobs. All the benefit is going to people who live far away and who aren't aware of the cost of their profits to our community and our province."

Quoting today's article, "...local residents' blockades of Island Timberlands' logging operations resulted in a withdrawal of the crew, but as Zoe Miles from the WildStands Alliance notes, the company has yet to meet Cortes Island homeowners or make any revision to the logging plans. As a result, residents against IT's industrial scale logging have tracked the raw logs Island Timberlands are exporting to mills in Washington State and to their retail customers and are sending letters to raise awareness about the dispute."

Below is an excerpt of the letter:

Island Timberlands is presently in conflict with the community of Cortes Island over logging of some of the very last stands of old growth forest in the region.

This is a region with extremely little primary forest remaining. In addition, Island Timberlands is in conflict with the community over logging plans in important watersheds and other issues of great concern.


Since most of the U.S. industry has already made public commitments not to trade in old growth and conflict wood products, we ask that you enforce this commitment by contacting Simpson Lumber and Island Timberlands at the earliest opportunity to advise them that you will have to stop sourcing their products if they do not resolve the conflicts.

We realize you have most likely been caught up in this conflict unwittingly and very much appreciate your positive involvement in resolving the conflicts.