The Ancient Forest Alliance Calls for BC Government to Establish Park Acquisition Fund

Ancient Forest Alliance is calling for the BC Provincial Government to commit to restoring and expanding a “BC Park Acquisition Fund” to purchase and protect endangered forests on private lands. Ken Wu, Ancient Forest Alliance executive director, says, "A provincial fund of at least $400 million over 10 years, is needed to systematically purchase private lands of high conservation, scenic, cultural, and recreational value in order to protect BC’s most endangered ecosystems, to sustain wildlife, clean water, recreation and tourism.

Park acquisition funds already exist in several Regional Districts in BC, including the Capital Regional District (CRD) in the Greater Victoria region, which has a Land Acquisition Fund of about $3.5 million each year. The CRD has spent over $34 million dollars since the year 2000 to purchase over 4500 hectares, including lands at Jordan River, the Sooke Hills, the Sooke Potholes, Thetis Lake, Mount Work, and Mount Maxwell on Salt Spring Island, to expand their system of Regional Parks

Please sign the Ancient Forest Alliance Petition because many of British Columbia’s most endangered ecosystems are found on privately-owned lands and many of these private lands are under threat from logging and real estate developments. Private fundraising groups, while important, are simply unable to raise enough funds fast enough to buy all of BC’s endangered private lands before they are destroyed.

Many thanks to Ken Wu and the Ancient Forest Alliance for a great idea. In the long run, buying them out is the only way the folks on Cortes Island can save this chunk of paradise. It's the only way for others to save privately owned forests too. 'The Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island' recognized this when they started raising the money to buy and protect five parcels of land, totaling 600 acres, in the heartland of Cortes adjacent to an existing Provincial Park. This Cortes Island group hosted an art auction fundraiser recently on Salt Spring Island and is also negotiating a deal with Island Timberlands.

Unfortunately successive short-sighted provincial governments have sold off huge tracts of our commons to the capitalists, thereby converting a long-term asset into a one time blip on their budget sheet. Short of a revolution the corporations have all the laws in their favor. Protests and barricades are important but capitalism demands the corporations, like Jerry McGuire says, "Show me the money".