Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF), is a B.C. based environmental group providing information to the public on proposed logging in important forest lands. The organization’s mission is to ‘Protect Key Forests and Habitat From Elimination‘ in order to conserve ecosystems. ELF examines the forest industry’s 5 year plans for due diligence covering wildlife, archaeological, recreational, and hydrological assessments. By conducting field studies prior to logging, we can be pro-active in achieving our goals. Our foremost goal is to protect provincial forests for their long-term ecological functioning. Since older forests (250+ years) have evolved to be a fundamental part of the earth’s life-support system a large percentage (up to 30%) needs protection. Intact forests provide many key services including, oxygen production, slope stability, water quality & flow control, fish and wildlife habitat, gene pool, carbon sequestering, wild-crafting, recreation/tourism and spiritual nourishment.
ELF is not opposed to ‘harvesting’ of second growth forests using partial-cut techniques, however is opposed to industrial style logging and seeks a ban on clear-cut logging since it destroys eco-sytems.
We believe that short term logging revenues pale in comparison to the longer term environmental services that old-growth forests generate for present and future generations to come.
History of Elphinstone Logging Focus
Mt Elphinstone rises up above Roberts Creek, BC where Ross Muirhead the founder of the group lives. This was the location where the first of many local logging protests against BC Timber Sales (BCTS) began. A situation came to his attention from a local resident who, on her own, was trying to stop logging by BCTS, of an intact forest above her family home. This was BCTS logging cutblock A71827. Their residence is off-line from the Sunshine Coast Regional District water main and thus they are dependant on the continual supply of water from an undisturbed, clean flowing creek for their domestic water needs. The cutblock included logging near 2 feeder creeks and crossing of them with logging roads. ELF quickly mounted a campaign that included mail-in cards to the BCTS Manager asking him to cancel the logging; a trail was made through the forest so people could access it and begin to understand what will be lost and the eventual logging impacts, and ELF organized a walk-through with the BCTS Manager, Technicians, the Forester and the other residents who live directly below the logging and who receive their water from the creeks that flow through the logging area. Unfortunately, the block was already sold to a Gibsons’ based contractor. The clear-cut logging of the forest went ahead in 2010 leaving behind a nasty scar on the hill side. The only good news was that BCTS did agree to upgrade the creek crossings with clear-span bridges instead of culverts which would have caused more damage to the banks leading to higher incidence of soil erosion. The bridges were heli-dropped in place and will be removed once operations are completed.
Several others have joined Ross and ELF in these efforts, including Hans Penner (Chapman Creek watershed defender) of Roberts Creek. We now have an effective team and reach out to others to join to help us in these forest lands protection efforts.
Origins of the Name Elphinstone Logging Focus
The Elphinstone reference is geographical and ancient. There is a myth attached to it that resonates with us that speaks to the stand off between those with assumed powers over public forest lands for timber extraction and the ‘average guy’ attempting to assert rights for other forest values . The myth is about how a village (Elphinstone) in Scotland got its name. Our (parenthesis) below. Taken from a Wikipedia search on Elphinstone:
“A common myth is one about a witch called Meg and the naming for the village. Meg (the government controlled forest industry) had servants who were Elfs (taxpayers who have little say over forestry policies) and she was cruel to them. One day she went to the burn between soon to be named Elphinstone and Orminston and ate in her carriage, telling her servants not to disturb her. One Elf broke into her carriage once she had fell asleep and stole some of her left-overs (the the small percentage of key forests set aside in protected areas), Meg, however, awoke and caught him. She took him back to Elphinstone and trapped him in her stone or “Meg’s chuck” (‘trapped in stone’ could be read as diversions and traps that the dominant system uses to place power over everyday lives). Hence the name Elph (elf) in stone.”