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IDEA LOG: April 27, 2011 — The James Gang @ 2:10 pm      

Is it right to cut trees?

“Who cares about the Forest?” is the question I explore in my creative personal story for FSC Canada.

Do you ever feel guilty when you use paper towels? Do you ever think about trees being cut down to make envelopes? Do you ever wonder, “is it really right to cut trees?”

I did. I went into the Boreal Forest in search of the answer: “Who cares about the Forest?”

Watch the video above. (And you can also read it as a visual essay.)

Special thanks to Monte Hummel, WWF-Canada, Chief Harry St. Denis, Wolf Lake First Nations, Chris McDonell, Tembec, Nicolas Lecomte, SmartWood, Richard Brooks, Greenpeace Canada for appearing in the video story, and showing me who cares for the forest! And to Maia Becker at FSC Canada, for sponsoring the story!

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IDEA LOG: — The James Gang @ 2:09 pm      

Who cares about the Forest?

“Who cares about the Forest?” is the question author/artist Franke James’ explores in her creative personal story for the Forest Stewardship Council of Canada. Franke is the author of Bothered By My Green Conscience which merges science, art and storytelling to inspire people to take action and “do the hardest thing first” for the planet.

The visual essay is below. You can also watch it as an animated video.

Drawing of Boreal Forest by Franke James

Funny that snail mail is what woke me photo illustration by Franke James

What woke Franke James

My bookkeeper asked Do you really have to kill so many trees? drawing by Franke James

How can you call yourself an enviro mental ist if you print on dead trees photo and drawing by Franke James

But the truth is, I was like a Flopsy Bunnysoporific bunny holding Beatrix Potter book drawing by Franke James

Dreaming that so long as I obeyed the three R's all wood be well, drawing by Franke James

But that soporific feeling ends as we drive into the Boreal Forest, photo illustration by Franke James

an 18 wheeler, Photo illustration by Franke James

with 70 tons of fresh cut trees whizzes by, Photo illustration by Franke James

Boreal Forest is being logged, Photo illustration by Franke James

Boreal Forest map, illustration by Franke James

Black Spruce lying on forest floor, photo illustration by Franke James

The feller buncher picks up the 50 ft tree photo illustration by Franke James

Why do they waste the tops, photo illustration by Franke James

But the bigger question, photo illustration by Franke James

Is it right to cut trees, photo illustration by Franke James

But who am I to point fingers, photo illustration by Franke James

Fiber can only be recycled a half dozen times, photo illustration by Franke James

But living without forests is unthinkable photo illustration by Franke James

Forests are the lungs of the planet, illustration by Franke James with source illustration from istockphoto

Boreal Forest is our tap, illustration by Franke James, features forest water photo by D. Langhorst, Ducks Unlimited, from A Forest of Blue, Pew Environment Group

Boreal Forest is biggest carbon storehouse piggy bank illustration by Franke James, features Boreal wetlands photo by Chad Delany, from A Forest of Blue, Pew Environment Group

I drop by WWF Canada to ask Monte Hummel, photo illustration by Franke James features head shot photo of Monte supplied by WWF

The forest is habitat photo illustration by Franke James with Owl in Tree photo from istockphoto

This is home for literally millions, text illustration by Franke James

Monte Hummel says it is not a sin to cut a tree but we need to do it the FSC way, illustration by Franke James

Sheepish illustration by Franke James

Monte says if you are looking at an FSC certified product, photo illustration by Franke James, featuring archived aerial photo from FSC archive

I buy Fairtrade and Organic so I can imagine buying FSC,  photo illustration by Franke James, featuring FairTrade logo, Certified Canada Organic Logo and FSC logo

Will I stop feeling bad whenever I use paper if I buy FSC, illustration by Franke James

Is buying good wood the answer, illustration by Franke James

Come into the forest and I will tell you what I found, photo  illustration by Franke James

how you can make a difference illustration by Franke James

War in the Woods photo illustration by Franke James

The Watchdogs have been barking, photo illustration by Franke James featuring Greenpeace logo

Sawmill photo illustration by Franke James

treeline illustration by Franke James

Some saw Opportunity illustration by Franke James

A group of people as opposite as oil and water, illustration by Franke James

vegetarian and cattle ranchers, loggers and treehuggers, illustration by Franke James

the four groups all got together, illustration by Franke James

to find a peaceful and profitable solution, photo-illustration by Franke James

The heart of FSC is social justice and love of the forest, illustration by Franke James

The four groups share power equally, illustration by Franke James

FSC is like a car, illustration by Franke James

Chief Harry St. Denis told me, illustration by Franke James

Journal features Chief Harry St. Denis, Wolf Lake First Nation, photo illustration by Franke James

treeline illustration by Franke James

Four sets of eyes want proof that everything is checked illustration by Franke James

the proof is in the mail and on the wood, photo illustration by Franke James

FSC Chain of Custody  illustration and certified recycling by Franke James

My Boreal Forest guide was Chris McDonell from Tembec

Tembec harvesting plan for an FSC forest, photo by Franke James

GPS in fellerbuncher, photo illustration by Franke James

W marks tree to protect it was wildlife habitat, photo illustration by Franke James

Narrow FSC roads photo illustration by Franke James

Header, Dr. Nicolas Lecomte, SmartWood, FSC auditor, illustration by Franke James

Dr. Nicolas Lecomte, SmartWood, FSC auditor for ecology explains why they leave the tops, photo illustration by Franke James

This whole Boreal Adventure illustration by Franke James

I feel sheepish again, illustration by Franke James

What can city people do, illustration by Franke James

Richard Brooks at Greenpeace drawing by Franke James

beliefs and behavior illustration by Franke James

Recycling is good but it is not enough drawing by Franke James

to protect our forest we need to demand FSC photo illustration by Franke James

beliefs and behavior illustration by Franke James

illustration by Franke James

The least footprint, illustration by Franke James

Credits:

Who cares about the Forest? © 2011 Franke James

Special thanks to the Forest Stewardship Council Canada for sponsoring this story.

And sincere appreciation to the following people and organizations for their contribution to the story:

Russell Diabo, Algonquin of Barriere Lake; Michelle White, Chapters Indigo; Drew Tremblay, Domtar; Richard Brooks, Greenpeace Canada; Peter Street, Nipissing Forest Resource Management; Roy Summers, Local Activist, North Bay Area; Eric Paradis, RONA; Nicolas Lecomte, FSC Auditor, SmartWood; Karen Whistler-Clark, TD Bank Financial Group; Chris McDonell, Elaine Marchand, Patrick Garneau, Tembec; Warren Spitz, Upper Canada Forest Products; Chief Harry St. Denis, Wolf Lake First Nations; Monte Hummel, WWF-Canada;

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Photographs, illustrations and writing by Franke James, except as noted:

“The Boreal Forest is Our Tap” illustration by Franke James, features a photo © D. Langhorst, Ducks Unlimited, from “A Forest of Blue” Pew Environment Group

The World’s Biggest Carbon Bank illustration by Franke James, features a Boreal wetlands photo © Chad Delany, from “A Forest of Blue” Pew Environment Group

Caribou photo © Valerie Courtois, from “A Forest of Blue” Pew Environment Group

“Lungs of the Planet” illustration by Franke James uses a source image © istockphotos; Owl and Snail illustrations use source photos © istockphotos.

Additional photos from FSC-Canada archive.

Featured books:
The Flopsy Bunnies by Beatrix Potter, published in 1909 by F. Warne & Co.
Bothered by My Green Conscience by Franke James, published by New Society Publishers

Research and Resources:

A Forest of Blue: Canada’s Boreal Forest, the World’s Waterkeeper Pew Environment Group

The Boreal Forest Adventure: Cooking Like Mother Nature by Nicolas Lecomte, Biol., PhD (Mother Nature’s Recipes available as a download.)

Turning Up the Heat: Global Warming and the Degradation of Canada’s Boreal Forest, by Christy Ferguson, Elizabeth A. Nelson and Geoff G. Sherman; Greenpeace Canada, March 2008

“The Forest Stewardship Council is the only certification system currently supported by Greenpeace. Products or pulp certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) have been given an environmental stamp of approval. The FSC certification system, which involves a third party audit of forest operations, is the only guarantee of sustainably managed forests.”

Produced by The James Gang,FSC®-CAN-0031, for FSC Canada

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