Activists seeking to slow the pace of logging on British Columbias old-growth forests have found an unexpected ally: the loggers themselves.
Frustrated by layoffs and fearing that timber giant Weyerhaeuser will cut and run, loggers last summer joined with the Haida, the indigenous people of the Queen Charlotte Islands, to demand reduced logging on the island chain.
The fate of all the islands people depends on reducing the cut to a sustainable level, according to John Broadhead, president of the Gowgaia Institute, an organization that has been mapping the vanishing ancient forest. "Thats the only hope for the communities here," he says.
Under pressure from the coalition and a court decision requiring consultation with and accommodation of the Haida, Weyerhaeuser offered to halve the cut, slimming it from 316 million board feet to 172 million. But Weyerhaeusers contract with British Columbia commits the company to harvesting the full amount, and the provincial government has yet to embrace the new plan.