An ongoing blockade to protect old-growth forests in western Canada has now lasted more than a month, but blockaders hopes that a government report would help protect the Fairy Creek Valley have been dashed.

Forest Defenders Hold the Barricades as the BC Government Fails to Defer Road Building and Logging into the Fairy Creek Rainforest

September 14, 2020

Featured image: Road building in the old growth forests of the Renfrew Creek Watershed, part of the greater Fairy Creek Rainforest. (Photo Credit: Ken Dawson)

The forest defenders blocking road and logging access to Fairy Creek are devastated that it was not included in the government’s announcement of deferrals of forest areas of the province. The Old Growth Strategic Review recommended: “immediate response to ecosystems at very high risk,” through deferrals. That would emphatically include Fairy Creek, which lies within unceded Pacheedaht Territory. Instead the government included Clayoquot Sound that the review did not recommend deferring.

Roads accessing Fairy Creek were going forward and poised to enter the watershed when stopped. This constitutes imminent threat. Other old growth forests in southern Vancouver Island, either under immediate threat or where active logging is taking place are: the Caycuse where there is active logging and roading; Edinburgh Mountain and the Central Walbran, both with multiple new approved cut blocks and road proposals; and the Nahmint Valley, where BC Timber Sales was censured by an internal review for violating its own legal requirements.

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

Among other areas of concern on Vancouver Island are the West Kauwinch River, and the Zeballos Lake watersheds, both similarly intact watersheds at imminent risk from new logging and road building. Fairy Creek has spectacular yellow cedar stands, a highly endangered and underrepresented species in BC’s forest inventory. The review 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.

We demand that the government immediately defer Fairy Creek and the other contiguous old growth forests from further incursions and permanently protect them from logging.

Until that happens, the blockades of the accesses into Fairy Creek will remain in place as support grows for protection following the OGSR report that highlights gross mismanagement, misinformation and collusion between government and the forest industry, where the public interest and that of the standing forests seldom enters their calculations.


For more information on the situation at Fairy Creek,