activists in the United States increased the pressure Tuesday on British
Columbia forest companies, announcing that a new business group has joined
their campaign to end logging in coastal rainforests.
| PATRICK MOORE: Boycotts "a
But this time, there were no major retailers like Home Depot and IKEA
stating their intention to stop buying lumber from coastal old growth.
Instead, the U.S.-based Coastal Rainforest Coalition says it has
support from companies with names like the Rainbow Grocery and Jefferson
The small green-leaning companies -- members of Co-op America, a
non-profit consumer and investor organization that promotes a greener
lifestyle -- pledged their support for the coalition after being shown
logging operations near Whistler this week.
It is no surprise that they had nothing good to say about B.C. forest
practices, said Patrick Moore, of the industry-sponsored Forest Alliance
"Co-op America supports all boycotts of this nature anywhere at all
times. We don't see this announcement today being any significant change
to the situation.
"As far as we can see, this is just a bandwagon thing for them. We
don't know of any new Fortune 500 companies that have joined the CRC
Ric Slaco, chief forester for International Forest Products, the
company logging the area viewed by the business group, said the work
conforms to the Forest Practices Code.
The decision to log was arrived at only after extensive public
consultations, he said.
Slaco said the public in B.C. needs to become more aware of what is at
stake if international marketing boycotts succeed.
"There is an underlying current [to the environmental pressure] that is
growing here," he said.
"The sentiment is that Canada, because of its old-growth forests,
should become the world's park."
He said the industry has a difficult job countering the pressure
because corporations can easily be painted in a negative light, when, in
fact, most of the wealth created from the forests -- a public asset --
flows back to the public in wages, taxes and stumpage charges.
Todd Paglia, director of campaigns for the CRC, said the organization
intends to run full-page ads during the next three months in publications
like the New York Times.
The new ads will include the names of "some of the biggest brands,"
The CRC's main members are Greenpeace, the Rainforest Action Network
and the Natural Resources Defence Council, three of the biggest
conservation campaigners in the U.S.