Logging Industry

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Soooo, yesterday was my day off volunteering at ElephantsWorld, a rehabilitation center/retirement home for mistreated elephants previously used for things like street performance, trekking (logging industry) and ceremonial carrying. All of these things are, obviously, extremely hard jobs. In most of the places that employ elephants, the animals are mistreated and overworked past their breaking point. Even something that seems fun and innocent to the bystander - like riding on the back of an elephant - can be hurtful. The elephant’s back is not strong - most of its strength lies in its trunk and it’s neck. However, many entertainers make up to 200kg of people ride on an elephant’s back daily, nonstop, sometimes up to 10 hours a day. The elephant industry used to be huge, but now things like this are slowly becoming illegal. ElephantsWorld takes in or buys these mistreated elephants and feeds them, takes care of them, etc until they are back to normal health, at which point they are able to live a leisurely life of retirement.

The one-day volunteering, two-day volunteering and a month’s program is what is used to raise money to buy the land that ElephantsWorld is on. During the one and two day programs you get to help feed the elephants fruit in the morning, watch them bathe, go on a walk with them, wash their lunch, prepare food for sickly and older elephants who no longer have teeth (they get special sticky-rice meals) and then go into the river with the elephants at the end of the day.

If you plan on going to Thailand, and if you want to see elephants, please consider going here instead of a countryside town where a weak and underfed elephant is performing in the street for money. It’s a much kinder form of donation, and you’ll to see much happier elephants for it. I spent the entire day being close enough to these lovely guys to touch them, and the last hour of playing with them in the river was an absolute joy. I would definitely recommend it to everyone!

ТАК ВОТ, вчера была день волонтером в ElephantsWorld, реабилитационный центр / дом престарелых для старых слонов и тех с которыми плохо обращались. Десять лет назад, в Тайлэнде, да и вообще в Азии, их много использовали в треккинг (лесозаготовительной промышленности), церемонии и как развлечение. Все это, конечно, очень трудная работа. В большинстве мест, которые используют слонов, с животным плохо обращаются и перегружают их. Даже то, что кажется весело для прохожего - например езда на спине слона - может быть вредным. Спина слона не сильная - большая часть его силы лежит в хоботе, и шее. Тем не менее, многих слонов заставляют ходить с людьми на спине (200кг) ежедневно, без остановок, иногда 10 часов в день. Теперь подобные вещи постепенно становятся незаконными. ElephantsWorld принимает или покупает этих слонов,  кормит их, заботится о них, и т.д., и они живут неторопливою жизнь на пенсии.

Волонтерство и программы предлагаются туристам чтобы собрать деньги и купить землю, на которой находится ElephantsWorld. Во время программы помогаешь кормить фрукты слонам, смотришь, как они купаются, идёшь на прогулке с ними, моешь их обед, готовишь еду для больных и старых слонов (у них нет зуб, так что они получают специальное мягкие рисовые блюда), а затем, в конце дня можешь со слонами покупаться в в реке.

Если вы планируете поездку в Таиланд, и если вы хотите увидеть слонов, пожалуйста, подумайте о возможности навестить этот Центр, вместо сельской местности или города, где слабый слон исполнят трюки на улице за деньги. Это гораздо добрее, и вы сможете увидеть действительно счастливых слонов.

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taken while on the road, researching a project for 2015. 

at the start of the year, i undertook an artist residency with the vancouver club where i had the amazing (and utterly rare in life) experience of being uplifted from the restraints of day to day tasks / responsibilities to work on my photography. allowing me the freedom of time to focus, read, research and travel upon my ideas and to develop a finer tuned vision for my personal work.

the images above are the start of one of three concepts that i am researching for 2015 that appears be a long term project. 

The Difference Between Lumber and Fruit

Remember in elementary school when you had to learn how to read a map? There was always a map with little symbols on it that represented the goods produced in that area. Perhaps there were be a cow to represent the beef industry. Or maybe it was a corn husk represent farming and agriculture. One thing I remember often seeing was a tree or log for the lumber industry.

It is incredible to me how we haven’t run out of wood yet. I look at all of the things in the world that are made out of wood and can’t believe there are many more trees than that in the world. I don’t mean to get eco-friendly on you, but the vastness of God’s creation is amazing. One of the reasons deforestation is such a big deal is that when you cut down a tree, it is done. That log or chunk of lumber is the end result of many years of growth. And then suddenly, it all ends with the swing of an ax or the buzz of a saw.

I bring this up because recently I have been part of a ministry team focusing on this plant based verse:

John 15:5 - “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

If you have been in church for any length of time, you know this verse the surrounding text. Jesus is saying that we are the limbs of tree and he is the trunk, the base, the foundation. Or in this case, since the culture was probably familiar with vineyards, he is the vine and we are the branches springing off of it. Through connection to Him, we are to produce fruit. I believe all of scripture is very intentional about the parables and metaphors God uses. For example, you know what is interesting about fruit? It isn’t like lumber. You don’t pick it and that’s it. If you do it right, every harvest you will get more. The plant is a constant source of life, food, and sustenance. 

I notice in my own life I often fall into the trap of treating my walk with Jesus more like lumber than fruit. I start out connected to Him at the root through studying his word and spending time in prayer, but through the business  of life I get cut off. My life does produce an end product. I host a youth event at my church or lead a small group study, but the product, while beautiful and successful at first, doesn’t grow. It is like lumber cut down from a forest. You can make a beautiful house or boat out of it, but it will never grow into anything more. 

Why is this? Because when we lose our attachment to the root, to the vine, to our source of life, we reach limit. Because without Christ, we may produce something, but we won’t grow to our full potential. A marriage may succeed, but it won’t be the beautiful union of “one flesh” if God is not the third partner in that marriage. A person may reach their goals, but they run the risk of losing their soul for the things of the world if God is not their center.

So I pray that God helps me to keep my focus on him, that I may abide in Him. I not only want to produce, but I want to flourish. I don’t want just a 1 time product like a log cut down to make a table, but I want to be the never ending supply of nourishment that feeds the people at that table, serving, loving, and energizing people every day, through Christ. God help me to be a good tree that produces a never ending supply of fruit, not of my own doing, but through the root you provide. 

British Columbia reaches agreement to protect vast coastal rainforest

Deal marries interests of First Nations, environmentalists and logging industry, who will see 15% of Great Bear forest available under ‘most stringent’ standards

British Columbia is set to announce a historic agreement to protect a vast swath of rainforest along its coastline, having reached a deal that marries the interests of First Nations, the logging industry and environmentalists after a decade of often-tense negotiations.

The agreement to be announced on Monday will see roughly 85% of forest within the Great Bear rainforest protected, with the other 15% available for logging under the “most stringent” standards in North America, environmental groups involved in the talks said.

The Great Bear rainforest is one of the world’s largest temperate rainforests and the habitat of the spirit bear, a rare subspecies of the black bear with white fur and claws. It is also home to 26 Aboriginal nations, known as First Nations.

“Under this landmark agreement, more old and second-growth forest will be protected, while still ensuring opportunities for economic development and jobs for local First Nations,” said Premier Christy Clark in a statement.

The province will introduce new laws to support the measures later this year.

The Great Bear rainforest, which includes forests, waterways and mountains, covers 6.4m hectares (16m acres) of the province’s coast. More than half its surface is forest, including 2.3m hectares (5.7m acres) of old-growth forest, which store high levels of captured carbon.

In the 1990s, frustrated over what they saw as destructive forestry practices on their traditional lands, First Nations partnered with environmentalists to fight back against logging companies, blockading roads and protesting.

By the early 2000s, environmental groups and industry players, including Interfor Corp, Western Forest Products Inc and Catalyst Paper Corp, had started talks. At the same time, government began negotiating with the Coastal First Nations and Nanwakolas Council.

The final agreements, reached more than a decade later, will “help mitigate climate change, support improved community wellbeing, and provide economic certainty to the forestry sector”, environmental groups that engaged in the process said.

The deal will also see the end of the commercial grizzly bear hunt within Coastal First Nations territories, though other existing tourism-related businesses will not be affected.

“This full implementation of the Great Bear Rainforest agreements is one of the most visionary forest conservation plans on earth,” said Valerie Langer, ForestEthics Solutions director, in a statement.

“It is a principled approach that sets a new legal and science-based standard for sustaining healthy forests.“

The announcement will come nearly two years after a landmark decision by Canada’s supreme court that granted title to a vast swath of British Columbia’s interior to First Nations, who had gone to court to stop logging in their traditional lands.

The Tsilhqot’in Decision, named for the bands involved, has bolstered First Nations across the province, who now have a legal precedent for fighting development on their traditional territories.

In AP World Geo in freshman year of HS we did one of those weird “all desks in a circle” activity where we had to make a debate where one half of the room acted as environmentalists and the other had to be people in the logging industry and I was in the latter. I spent most of the class reading and my teacher said I needed to contribute more to the argument so I went into the center and said “ladies and gentlemen, these HIPPIES claim to LOVE the trees, but might I be so bold as to present them with a question? What have the TREES ever done to love them back? When was the last time a TREE chained itself to the front of a jail cell to protect the lives of those facing the death penalty? I SAY the trees SUCK!” And my half of the group cheered and my teacher told me to sit down and go back to reading my book