Our Columns

51 weeks 3 days ago

By Torrance Coste
July 28, 2015

On July 5, 2015, I woke up just after dawn. It was early, but I didn't feel tired or disoriented. I stepped out on my deck and saw it wasn't 5 a.m.-dim at all.

It was cloudy, and the clouds were orange.

I grabbed my phone, and after noticing the time -- 9:30 -- I saw my Twitter and Facebook feeds lighting up with "Smoke Posts."

1 year 1 week ago

By Eoin Madden
The Georgia Straight
July 10, 2015

This summer, B.C.’s forest fire season arrived a month early—and with a ferocity not witnessed in our lifetime. While struggling to breathe the smoke-filled air in Metro Vancouver this week, I’ve been reminded of the predictions made by experts who say that climate change will make this “freak” situation the new normal.

1 year 5 weeks ago

By Torrance Coste
The Tyee
June 13, 2015

Eight months ago, a hiker and friend of our organization found new surveying tape in the central Walbran Valley. There, centred around the iconic Castle Grove, stands one of the largest intact tracts of unlogged old growth rainforest on southern Vancouver Island.

1 year 6 weeks ago

By Torrance Coste
Times Colonist
June 4, 2015

On Vancouver Island, there are two sets of rights when it comes to clean, safe drinking water. Some of us get water from sources controlled by our municipalities and protected in perpetuity. Others drink from watersheds that are privately owned and open to all manner of industrial exploitation.

1 year 14 weeks ago

The Huffington Post
By Eoin Madden
April 15, 2015

I remember in 2010, before I knew my future lay in Canada, I was in Scotland enjoying my Canadian friend’s pride over hosting the Winter Olympics. One detail that twigged my attention at the time was the fact that snow was being trucked to the slopes surrounding Vancouver, because it was unusually warm that winter and they desperately needed it for the alpine events. When I asked whether or not trucking in snow was commonplace in Canada, I got a clear and uncompromising response: no this was freakish, an uncommon practice born out of bad natural luck.

1 year 19 weeks ago

The Times Colonist
By Torrance Coste
March 12, 2015

Monday, March 2nd was a tense day for those of us monitoring the Raven Coal Mine proposal. After a 30-day screening period, the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) was set to announce whether or not the application to mine close to 30 million tonnes of coal and rock in the Comox Valley would advance to final environmental review.

Then, just hours before the announcement, proponent Compliance Energy abruptly withdrew its application.

1 year 19 weeks ago

March/April 2015

Read Joe Foy's Wild Times column in the Watershed Sentinel as he looks at the history of those who speak freely and from the heart.

1 year 23 weeks ago

The Tyee
By Torrance Coste
February 4, 2015

BC Stats shows the practice has reached record levels in recent years

For as long as I've been aware of raw log exports I've been unwaveringly against them. The controversial practice of shipping logs overseas without processing them or adding any value has been in place for years. When logs are exported in raw form, they provide the lowest possible value for B.C. communities and starve the mills and the livelihoods that rely on timber.

Over the last few weeks, I've looked into the most recent data and I've been heartbroken to see just how bad things have become.

1 year 30 weeks ago

Times Colonist
By Eoin Madden, Torrance Coste and Arnold Bercov
December 21, 2014

The Pulp, Paper and Woodworkers of Canada and the Wilderness Committee are organizations with deep roots in Canada's forests.

Since its inception more than 50 years ago, the PPWC and its members have relied on abundant and resilient forests for their livelihoods. In turn, since it was founded 34 years ago, the WC has tirelessly advocated for the protection of old-growth forests and other key ecosystems, and for the sustainable management of second-growth forests.

We believe the B.C. government has gradually abandoned the province's forestry heritage in pursuit of an unsustainable pipe dream: liquefied natural gas exports to Asia. The better option — for a resilient economy and for our climate — is to rebuild an innovative, sustainable forestry sector.

1 year 32 weeks ago

Huffington Post BC
By Torrance Coste
December 5, 2014

If a tar sands tanker hits a rock on the Kinder Morgan shipping route past Vancouver Island, the resulting spill could decimate wild salmon, clams and other food sources that First Nations have relied on for centuries. Chilling stories like this were front and centre at last week's Oral Traditional Evidence hearings in Victoria – part of the National Energy Board (NEB) review of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker proposal.