A monumental old-growth yellow cedar tree in the at-risk headwaters of Fairy Creek. Port Renfrew protesters have said the blockade that was launched on Aug. 10 will continue till the government meets their demands. Photo courtesy TJ Watt.

A monumental old-growth yellow cedar tree in the at-risk headwaters of Fairy Creek. Port Renfrew protesters have said the blockade that was launched on Aug. 10 will continue till the government meets their demands. Photo courtesy TJ Watt.

Vancouver Island protesters call B.C.’s response to new old-growth report a ‘diversion’

Port Renfrew blockade continues as protesters want Fairy Creek Watershed included in deferral areas

Protesters in Port Renfrew are “devastated” that the Fairy Creek Watershed was not included in B.C. government’s list of old-growth deferral areas announced last week.

On Sept. 11, after the release of ‘A New Future for Old Forests’ prepared by foresters Al Gorely and Garry Merkel, Forest Minister Doug Donaldson announced that nine forest areas in B.C. will be protected from logging, pending consultation with local Indigenous communities.

Three of these areas– H’Kusam, McKelvie Creek and Clayoquot Sound– are on Vancouver Island.

READ MORE: B.C. suspends some old-growth logging, consults communities

Protesters at the Fairy Creek blockade called the move a “diversion.”

“They’ve included areas that are mostly protected, ” said Saul Arbess, a spokesperson for the protest group at Fairy Creek Watershed.

Despite the recommendation for an immediate response to “ecosystems at very high risk,” Arbess said nothing was done about other areas on Vancouver Island that are under immediate threat, or where active logging is taking place.

In a statement, the protesters highlighted other areas on Southern Vancouver Island under immediate threat where active logging is taking place, including Caycuse, Edinburgh Mountain, Central Walbran, Nahmint Valley.

“All of these areas deserve, and must receive, permanent protection from logging.”

The group also pointed out other intact watersheds on Vancouver Island that are at at imminent risk from new logging and road building such as the West Kauwinch River, and the Zeballos Lake watersheds.

“Fairy Creek has spectacular yellow cedar stands, a highly endangered and underrepresented species in B.C.’s forest inventory. The report calls for further protection of these species, yet the headwaters of Fairy Creek, and several adjacent old growth forests remain slated to be logged. Surely, the last intact watershed in the immense San Juan River drainage deserves a permanently protected designation.”

The group said that the “blockades of the accesses into Fairy Creek will remain in place” until the government defers Fairy Creek and the other contiguous old growth forests from further incursions and permanently protects them from logging.

The Fairy Creek blockade was launched on Aug.10, by a group of ‘forest defenders,’ to prevent Teal Jones Group’s construction crews from building a road to the watershed.

READ MORE :Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

In an e-mail, Donaldson had told Black Press that approximately 50% of Fairy Creek watershed is protected under a Marbled Murrelet Wildlife Habitat Area.

“Our government knows there is more work to do when it comes to protecting old growth forests. That’s why we launched the independent review and engagement into how B.C. manages old growth forests,” said Donaldson.

Following the release of the report last week, the forest minister had also issued a statement suggesting a departure from a”patchwork approach”of management of old-growth forests in B.C.

“We need to do better and find a path forward that preserves old-growth forests, while supporting forest workers,” he said.

forestryvancouverisland

Just Posted

Howard English Hatchery volunteer Joscilyn Jupp poured one of many buckets of salmon fry into Douglas Creek on May 11, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
35,000 salmon fry released in Saanich park during closed event

Chum from Goldstream Hatchery trucked in to restore Douglas Creek salmon spawning

Local cyclist Max McCulloch catches air off a jump in the newly redesigned Organ Donor trail at Mount Work mountain biking park. The Capital Regional District approved its regional parks mountain biking guidelines and a list of short-term actions at the CRD board’s May 12 meeting. (Black Press Media File Photo)
CRD approves mountain biking guidelines that drove spoke between advocates, environmentalists

Guidelines aim to find new biking opportunites in region, while protecting park ecology

Reigning women’s World Champion Kaetlyn Osmond, who also took bronze at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, will debut two brand new programs for the 2021 Stars On Ice tour, in Victoria May 15. (File photo)
Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko hit the ice when Stars returns to Victoria

The star-studded lineup is makes a return after pandemic hiatus

Ryan Cootes, Erin Bremner-Mitchell, Bill Collins and Mike Williamson of Cascadia Seaweed Corporation are here seen holding up seaweed grown in Barkley Sound in July 2020. The Sidney-based company has organized the inaugural Seaweed Days Festival running May 17 to May 23. (Cascadia Seaweed Corporation/Submitted)
Global expert touts seaweed to open inaugural Sidney festival

Vincent Doumeizel also points to barrier facing the emerging industry

The orange parcel was bought by the CRD for $1.1 million to add to Mount Work Regional Park. (CRD map)
Capital Regional District expands Mount Work land for $1.1 million

Privately-owned 13.8 hectares in the Highlands is ecologcically valuable

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

The Nanaimo Timbermen and Victoria Shamrocks compete in Western Lacrosse Association action in Nanaimo during the 2019 season. (News Bulletin file photo)
WLA cancels another senior A lacrosse season due to COVID-19

Western Lacrosse Association, Major Series Lacrosse announce cancellation of Mann Cup

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Black Press Media files)
Canada marks 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began

6 in every 10,000 Canadians died of COVID-19 since March 9, 2020

Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen, with the 100 Mile House RCMP. (Melissa Smalley - 100 Mile Free Press)
14-year-old boy killed in serious ATV crash near 100 Mile House

Youth was travelling with a group of peers when the incident occurred last Friday

Relief is coming for B.C.’s struggling tourism sector. (NEWS file photo)
B.C. officials set to announce more support for tourism sector hit hard by pandemic

Non-essential travel is restricted between three regional zones in B.C. until at least May 24

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Nathalie Emmanuel, left, and Vin Diesel in a scene from “F9.” (Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures via AP)
The blockbuster movie is making a comeback this summer

Excitement in the industry is growing again for a return to a big-screen normal

More “strings of lights” were seen on May 15, 2021, in night sky over Vancouver Island. (File photo)
Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

Most Read