Interfor VP Ric Slaco insults German school teacher

Ric Slaco is Chief Forester and a Vice-President at Interfor. In the letter below, he is replying to Angelika Hanko and some of her students, who wrote to Interfor from their school in Germany. Hanko’s letter was critical of Interfor’s practices, strong in tone, and in some instances factually incorrect.

Slaco’s letter in reponse moves from professional through intemperate to surprisingly offensive. His most egregious comment to the young german girl is: “I think we all know what can happen if people blindly follow actions of a misguided leader.

In late 2003, the Forest Action Network and other environmental groups, purchased advertisements in several Chinese newspapers, calling for the boycott of products derived from B.C.’s old-growth forests. BC’s Forests Minister Mike de Jong reacted with the statement that it is “time to take on these eco-terrorists.”

There are cracks showing in the walls of arrogance and superiority that shields the government and its corporate supporters (Interfor has given over $200,000 to the BC Liberals from 1996 to 2002.) from most British Columbians. It is a frightening attitude that is oozing through those cracks, as revealed in Minister de Jong’s incendiary speeches, and in this letter from Interfor.
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March 29, 2004

Angelika Hanko and Students
Albert-Schweitzer-Str. 16
D – 32584 Lhne
Germany

Dear Ms. Hanko and Students,
I am confused and disturbed by your letter of March 16, 2004, which makes various inaccurate claims about our activities in British Columbia. It appears you have been misled by some mischievous means or by false information sent to you on these subjects.

Interfor does not have any forest tenure in the East Creek watershed on Vancouver Island. Contrary to your claims we have no license, and certainly no plans to harvest.

The Klashkish Watershed is not pristine and has been previously developed. Interfor has a very small harvest planned for this year (0.7% of our coastal harvest). All harvesting is done in accordance to the special science and planning requirements for this area.

Interfor’s involvement in the Central Coast (Great Bear Rainforest) is one of success, not disdain. Interfor has worked successfully with environmental groups such as Greenpeace on a plan that has recently been agreed to by all participants in the Central Coast Land and Resource Management Plan. Refer to recent media reports for verification.

It is clear to me that you have not researched the claims you make against us. I find your assertions defamatory to our company and below the standard for a teaching professional.

Please teach your students well and provide welI-balanced, accurate information so they can make up their own minds what is right. I think we all know what can happen if people blindly follow actions of a misguided leader.

l’ve attached some information that might help you appreciate some of the excellent forestry work that is occurring in B.C.

I would also hope that Germany is doing its part to protect, conserve and restore the precious global habitat it is responsible for.

Sincerely,

Ric Slaco, RPF
VP and Chief Forester

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