- Will Clayoquot Get Clearcut Relief?
- NAFTA Gets Quicker--And Dirtier
The Sierra Club of Western Canada is cheering a ground-breaking forest
management plan for British Columbia's Clayoquot Sound, an ancient temperate
rainforest that has been ravaged by clearcutting in recent years. But now
activists faced a new battle: fighting to ensure that the provincial government
and timber companies comply with the plan.
Crafted by the government-commissioned Scientific Panel for Sustainable
Forest Practices, the plan calls for an end to clearcutting. It advises
only logging trees not deemed critical for maintaining air and water quality,
cultural values, spiritual and scenic features and wildlife habitat.
The plan is "a movement toward a world where forests are valued in their
own right and treated with respect," said Vicky Husband, conservation co-chair
for the Sierra Club of British Columbia, ''The challenge now to our government
and timber giants like MacMillan Bloedel [see May 1995 Planet alert about
U.S. purchases of this company's old-growth products] is to fully implement
these findings, which means a complete change in the way they do business."
The Clinton administration wants new "fast-track" authority to expand
the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to Chile [see June 
Planet, page 6], and a proposal in Congress would remove environmental
safeguards from the agreement entirely.
By requiring a quick vote and prohibiting amendments, fast-track is
supposed to prevent special interests in Congress from picking apart trade
agreements after they've been negotiated by the president. But Sierra Club
trade specialist Dan Seligman said House Trade Subcommittee Chairman Phil
Crane (R-Ill.) is attempting to exempt environmental provisions from fast-track
"If Rep. Crane gets his way, environmental standards will be challenged
as trade barriers and funds to prevent environmental damage will be cut,"
NAFTA's ability to weaken existing laws is evidenced by a bill introduced
by Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.) at the behest of tuna-exporting nations
that would gut U.S. dolphin protections. "This is exactly what we warned
about when we fought NAFTA," said Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), "and exactly
what we were told would not happen."
Up to Top