Harley Rustad Biography & Facts
The Ancient Forest Alliance is a grassroots environmental organization in British Columbia, Canada. It was founded in January 2010, and is dedicated to protecting British Columbia's old growth forests in areas where they are scarce, and ensuring sustainable forestry jobs in that province.
The objectives of the Ancient Forest Alliance, as stated on their website, are to:
Undertake a Provincial Old-Growth Strategy that will inventory the old-growth forests in BC and protect them where they are scarce (i.e. Vancouver Island, southern Mainland coast, southern Interior, etc.)
Ensure the sustainable logging of second-growth forests, which now constitute the majority of forest lands in southern BC.
End the export of BC raw logs to foreign mills in order to ensure a guaranteed log supply for BC mills and value-added processing facilities.
Assist in the retooling and development of BC coastal sawmills and value-added facilities to handle second-growth logs.
Undertake new, democratic land-use planning processes to protect endangered forests based on new First Nations land-use plans, ecosystem-based scientific assessments, and climate mitigation strategies through forest protection.
The Ancient Forest Alliance was founded in January 2010 by former Western Canada Wilderness Committee activists Ken Wu, TJ Watt, and Tara Sawatsky, along with old-growth activists Katrina Andres and Brendan Harry from Victoria and Michelle Connolly from Vancouver. The founders were prompted to start the new organization when the Western Canada Wilderness Committee announced in late 2009 that it was both closing its Victoria storefront and reorganizing its Victoria office in a way that they felt reduced its focus on old growth forests. The objective of the Ancient Forest Alliance was to fill a different niche than the Western Canadian Wilderness Committee by focusing specifically on old growth forests and by not obtaining status as a charitable organization, which allows it to either endorse or condemn politicians based on their forest policies. By March 9, 2010, less than two months after its creation, the Ancient Forest Alliance had grown to over 6,000 Facebook members.
The Ancient Forest Alliance currently has a board of directors consisting of Victoria conservationists and former Wilderness Committee activists Ken Wu, TJ Watt, Tara Sawatsky, and Vancouver activist Michelle Connolly. Most of the work has been volunteered by the board of directors and supporters, but in March, 2010, the Ancient Forest Alliance launched a fundraising drive so they could hire core staff and pay for campaign costs.Although the Ancient Forest Alliance is registered as a non-profit society in British Columbia, they have declared that they will not register as a charitable organization. The lack of charitable status makes fundraising more difficult, because they can not issue tax receipts for donations. However, it also allows them to reject or endorse specific political candidates, based on their stance on old growth forests, while charitable organizations cannot take partisan political positions. The Ancient Forest Alliance has said that they will organize in swing ridings to have maximum effectiveness in influencing government policies.
The Ancient Forest Alliance has also stated that they will "help empower, train, and guide new citizens' groups that are going to fight for ancient forests", which they feel will help them run an effective campaign on a much smaller budget than larger environmental organizations. Since 2007, Ancient Forest Committees have been founded in various universities and regions of Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, including the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Victoria. These Ancient Forest Committees are autonomous, volunteer-run organizations that are independent from the Ancient Forest Alliance, but endorse its goals and strategies, and collaborate on certain events such as rallies, hiking trips, and activist training gatherings.
Documenting ancient forests and giant treesThe Ancient Forest Alliance has stated that they will "explore and document endangered ancient forests, record-sized heritage trees, and areas destroyed by old-growth logging." Photographer TJ Watt has been exploring and documenting old growth forests and giant trees for the Ancient Forest Alliance.
Protecting the Red Creek Douglas Fir treesThe approximately 1000-year old Red Creek Fir is 73.8 m (242 ft) tall and 4.2m (13' 9") wide, is located near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island and is one of the largest Douglas-fir in the world. (In 2010, it was thought to be the world's largest.) In February 2010 the Ancient Forest Alliance announced that they had discovered new logging tape within a few hundred metres of the Red Creek Fir, and that they feared it might soon be surrounded by a clearcut, making it susceptible to blowdown and reducing its tourism value. The Ministry of Forests has stated that the area immediately surrounding the Red Creek Fir is protected from logging, and that there are no plans to log the surrounding area in the immediate future. TimberWest, which owns the surrounding area, has confirmed this, stating that the logging tape does not necessarily mean that it will be logged, and that they are not planning on logging the area within the next year or two. The Red Creek Fir is an important tourist attraction for the nearby town of Port Renfrew, according to the local Chamber of Commerce. TimberWest has said that they recognize the value of the tree, and are looking at improving access to it for tourists. The Ancient Forest Alliance installed a new sign at the Red Creek Fir, and were asking the British Columbia government to establish a Provincial Heritage Trees designation that will identify and protect the 100 largest and oldest specimens of each of the province's tree species.The Alliance helped to publicize the issue of clearcutting of old-growth forests on Vancouver Island with a September 2016 article by Harley Rustad on their web site about that same Red Creek Fir tree, which by then, had been named Big Lonely Doug and declared to be Canada's second largest Douglas-fir tree. According to the Rustad article, the tree had been saved in 2011 by surveyor Dennis Cronin in an area that was scheduled for clearcutting. (Cutblock number 7190, twelve hectares on the north bank of the Gordon River.) Originally published by The Walrus, where the article won a silver National Magazine Award (2018), the story helped to re-ignite interest in the clearcutting issue and attracted additional coverage by the major news media. Several publications subsequently ran similar articles about clear-cutting, featuring photos of the Big Lonely Doug tree in an area with no other remaining old-growth trees. Most recently, in early September 2019, the Toronto Star published a feature about the is.... Discover the Harley Rustad popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Harley Rustad books.