A third blockade has started to stop the logging of near the headwaters of Fairy Creek. To learn more about the blockade in Fairy Creek, read the media release by the organizers of the blockade, and listen to interviews with Joshua Wright here and here. Access the official Facebook page here.
Two weeks into a campaign to halt logging of ancient rainforests in the last intact watershed of the San Juan River system, activists have set up a third blockade on unceded Pacheedaht territory!
Grassroots forest defenders from across Vancouver Island have successfully prevented Teal Jones Group from blasting logging roads into the unlogged headwaters of the Fairy Creek watershed for the past two weeks.
The first blockade was established on Monday, August 10th, where the new roads were about to crest a ridge into the west side of the watershed. The blockaders successfully turned away the road builders early that morning. Teal Jones removed their road building equipment on Tuesday, August 11th, and the blockade has remained in place continuously since then.
On August 17th, in light of government inaction to meet the blockaders demands, a second blockade was established just to the east of the Fairy Creek watershed, preventing Teal Jones from building roads which have been approved for construction into that side of the rainforest, located on unceded Pacheedaht Territory.
And on the evening of August 23rd, a third blockade was established. The third blockade is located on a logging road on Edinburgh mountain (also unceded Pacheedaht Territory). With the exception of Eden Grove on Edinburgh mountain, contiguous old-growth corridors have been severed between the rich valley bottom and the protected upper reaches. The infamous Big Lonely Doug stands in stark contrast to clear cut in a cutblock on Edinburgh, the sole remaining giant fir in the cut. Lonely Doug has become an internationally recognized symbol for BC’s devastating logging practices. Just up the mountain, logging is ongoing. This is what the newest blockade will stop.
This new blockade also obstructs old growth logging already in progress east of Fairy Creek.
This stretch of ancient forest is contiguous with the intact old growth forest within the Fairy Creek watershed and contains high value valley bottom old growth forest that would be fully eradicated if the logging was allowed to continue. A massive, ancient cedar recently felled by Teal Jones in one of the old growth cut blocks now being blockaded:
“If anyone has ever felt called in their heart to take a stand for old growth forests, we invite them to join us here in Premier John Horgan’s own electoral riding: at our first blockade, or at this new, more easily accessible second blockade,” stated Cowichan Valley resident Caimen Shapiro.
Teal Jones, the licence holder of TFL 46, over the past month has begun road construction in the old growth hotspot of Fairy Creek that would enable them to clear-cut the upper Fairy Creek watershed, near Port Renfrew. The company has felled and graded several hectares of old growth forest on a road network that, had it not been for our first blockade, would have breached the ridgeline and entered the watershed.
Protection of Old Growth Forests
In view of the forthcoming release of theOld Growth Strategic Review (OGSR) report and recommendations, being held up by the BC government for up to 6 months from early May, with no firm release date to the public, we are again asking the Premier to establish:
1. The immediate and permanent protection of the entire Fairy Creek Valley, thereby nullifying all cut blocks and road construction approvals in the watershed and contiguous old growth forests. We demand this take place without a ‘land swap’ that would remove protections from other old growth forests to compensate Teal Jones.
2. An immediate end to old growth logging on Vancouver Island.
In an article in The Narwhal, Jan. 27, 2020, Gary Merkel, one of the two commissioners of the OGSR states: “I think the thing that surprised me the most is the degree of unanimity and common thinking around ‘we need to get back to the land’ and about moving past political cycles … we’re hearing it from almost everywhere,” Merkel told The Narwhal in a joint phone interview with Gorley: “We’re managing ecosystems — that are in some cases thousands of years old — on a four-year political cycle. The management systems change from government to government,” said Merkel, the former chair of both the Tahltan Nation Development Corporation and the Columbia Basin Trust.
We are now at the stage of final eradication of the ancient coastal temperate rainforest, reduced to less than 3% of its original extent by logging.
Port Renfrew has billed itself as the Big Tree Capital of Canada and this form of tourism has become the backbone of its economy. Once again, this future is threatened by the indiscriminate eradication of the ancient forests in this region. Here is a dramatic drone video of Fairy Creek watershed, recently captured by a young firefighter showing road-building crews cresting the ridge into the very last unlogged watershed in the San Juan River valley rainforest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBnhktwJIo4
If you are in a position to help you can find you way with this information: Blockade Directions: Blockade #1 (established August 10): GPS coordinates: 48°38’32.56″N 124°21’21.25″W
10 km on the Gordon River Main Line at Braden Creek Main Line (on your way to Fairy Lake after leaving Port Renfrew, turn left just past Deering Bridge and take the road up the hill to the right just before the bridge). Map: https://www.google.com/maps/place/48%C2%B038’37.3%22N+124%C2%B021’38.4% 22Wfirstname.lastname@example.org,- 124.357926,5720m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d48.6436944!4d- 124.3606667
Blockade #2 (established August 17) GPS coordinates: 48°38’12.66″N 124°17’29.97″W 6.7 km on the Granite Main Line from Pacific Marine Rd.
Map: https://www.google.com/maps/place/48%C2%B038’11.1%22N+124%C2%B017’25.0% 22Wemail@example.com,- 124.3902158,13000m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d48.63642!4d- 124.29028?hl=en
Media Contact: Joshua Wright, 360-989-8067 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Featured image by Ancient Forest Allianc. Captured earlier this month from the Granite (Renfrew) Creek watershed, just over the ridge to the east of Fairy Creek in Pacheedaht territory. Teal-Jones was – until recently – also constructing roads and starting to clearcut old-growth forest in this area. The second blockade has now been set up by independent activists to prevent the company from continuing its destructive practices here as well.