Demand the BC government implement a new approach to forest management

Above: Caycuse watershed, before and after clearcut by the Teal-Jones Group

Credits: All photos in this story by TJ Watt

In May, 2019, Andrea Inness from the Ancient Forest Alliance spoke at First Sunday Forums. She talked about the critical need for legislation to protect BC’s remaining ancient forests.

The Enviro Team followed up with a letter writing campaign to save our ancient trees, urging the BC Forests Minister to work with First Nations to implement a science-based Old-Growth Protection Act.

March 2021, we bring an update from the frontlines of BC’s old‑growth forests.

Photo: Caycuse watershed before and after clearcut

Above: Before and after the clearcut in the Caycuse watershed

Three environmental NGOs give the Province’s “new” approach to old‑growth management a failing grade.

In the mean time, activists protecting ancient cedars at Fairy Creek, near Port Renfrew, prepare for civil disobedience.

What You Can Do to Help

Hold the BC government to its promise to implement the recommendations set out in A New Future for Ancient Forests

Call Premier John Horgan and Forests Minister Katrine Conroy. Demand they halt logging in at-risk ancient forests across the Province


250-387-1715      BC Premier John Horgan

250-387-6240      BC Forests Minister Katrine Conroy

1-800-663-7867    Toll-free Government of British Columbia

photo

Above: Massive tree stump after a clearcut in the Caycuse watershed

Eulogy for Ancient Trees

single quote

It was truly an incredible and unique grove. I was stunned by the sheer number of monumental red cedars, one after another, on this gentle mountain slope — TJ Watt

In April 2020, photographer TJ Watt documented an ancient grove in the Caycuse watershed. He returned later that year to photograph the same area after it was clearcut.

The Caycuse watershed — located southwest of Cowichan Lake in the traditional territory of the Ditidaht First Nation — hosts some of the grandest forests on southern Vancouver Island.

“It was truly an incredible and unique grove. I was stunned by the sheer number of monumental red cedars, one after another, on this gentle mountain slope,” Watt said.

“Giant cedars like these have immense ecological value, particularly as wildlife habitat, and important tourism and First Nations cultural value,” he said.

“Yet the BC government continues to allow irreplaceable, centuries-old trees to be high-graded for short-term gain.”

photo
photo

Above: Roads are being built into the old growth forest adjacent to the clearcut near Haddon Creek in the Caycuse watershed

Dateline: July 17, 2019

The BC Government appoints a panel of two independent foresters, Garry Merkel and Al Gorley, to conduct an Old Growth Strategic Review on the ecological, economic and cultural importance of old-growth trees and forests.

Dateline: April 2020

After extensive public engagement, Merkel and Gorley submit their report to the Province.

The report titled A New Future for Ancient Forests makes 14 recommendations to be phased in over three years.

Dateline: Hazelton BC, September 11, 2020

The BC government announces a “new approach” to ancient forests based on recommendations from the old-growth review panel.

Initial actions include:

  • engaging the full involvement of Indigenous leaders and organizations, and
  • deferring old forest harvesting in nine areas throughout the province totaling 352,739 hectares as a first step

Dateline: Victoria BC, on unceded Lekwungen territories, March 11, 2020

Three environmental NGOs issue a Report Card on the progress of the new forest strategy. The BC government gets a failing grade.

According to the Report Card: To date, the government has only deferred about 3,800 hectares from harvesting — less than 1% of the most at-risk old-growth.

Dateline: March 21, 2021, Update on Fairy Creek blockade near Port Renfrew BC

Teal-Jones Group is seeking a court injunction to end the seven-month blockade by activists in the Fairy Creek watershed on traditional Pacheedaht territory. Fairy Creek is one of the last intact old-growth valleys on southern Vancouver Island. According to the Ancient Forest Alliance, massive ancient yellow cedars trees appear to be within a proposed cutblock. A two-day injunction hearing is scheduled to start March 25.

Activists at the Fairy Creek blockade are preparing for civil disobedience.

Above: Recent old-growth logging by Teal-Jones adjacent to the Fairy Creek Valley


Categories:

Environment • Old Growth