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.
In the mean time, activists protecting ancient cedars at Fairy Creek, near Port Renfrew, prepare for civil disobedience.3>
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
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.”
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.
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.
The BC government announces a “new approach” to ancient forests based on recommendations from the old-growth review panel.
Initial actions include:
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.
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.