Rainforest Flying Squad Responds to Today’s First Nations’
Request to Defer Logging in Fairy Creek and the Central Walbran Valley
The Rainforest Flying Squad welcomes this morning’s announcement that the Pacheedaht, Ditidaht, and Huu-ay-aht First Nations are calling for logging deferrals on Fairy Creek and the Central Walbran. While it’s a welcome step in the right direction, we, and Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones, remain concerned that it allows for the status quo of old growth logging to continue unabated across the territory.
“No, we must not stand down, as all First Nations are locked into unfair contracts that tie their hands,” Elder Bill Jones stated.
We eagerly await details and clarification on the nations’ announcement. As of this morning we have yet to see any precise maps or confirmation that this deferral will prevent road building or active logging of old-growth.
Any deferral on Fairy Creek MUST include the entire 2,080 hectare Fairy Creek Rainforest, not just the old growth within the watershed. This would include protecting the hundreds of hectares of at-risk old-growth adjacent to the Fairy Creek watershed in both Granite Creek and in the area known as the ‘2000 Road.’ We hope that the final agreement between the Pacheedaht and provincial government will reflect this. Likewise we are calling for deferral of logging across the entire special management zone in the Central Walbran.
As explained today by the Nations, logging will still be allowed on Edinburgh Mountain, in the Caycuse, Camper Creek, the Upper Walbran, Bugaboo Creek, and it may still be allowed to go ahead on the 2000 Road, Granite Creek, and parts of the Central Walbran. So we would see it as a very small victory.
This announcement does nothing to address the systemic crisis in the way our forests are managed. Premier Horgan must act rapidly to defer logging across the 1.3 million hectares of at-risk old growth identified by the Sierra Club of BC. The province must come to the table with conservation financing and economic alternatives for First Nations, and create a just transition to a second growth industry.
Until these things happen, at the invitation of Elder Bill Jones, the Rainforest Flying Squad will continue to stand our ground to defend our last ancient forests.
Referring to the importance of the ancient trees, Elder Bill Jones says: “They are guides, teachers, spiritual beings.”
Here are the sequestered locations. Thank you to the Wilderness Committee for their use.