Old Growth Revylution blockade shakes up business as usual in the Revelstoke area.
Old Growth Revylution’s camp as the snow began to fall
The Old Growth Revylution (OGR) blockade continues. We have had a constant presence at the Bigmouth River Forest Service Road since July 6, 2021. The blockade has been moved closer to Highway 23. We’re now about .8 km in from the highway. We have a huge tarpee and a camper and another camper coming on board. People rotate going up there. The snow removal involved is massive—120 km north of Revelstoke can have 37 feet of snow in a season and we have had record snowfalls this year. People keep donating—snowblowers and equipment and money. Extraordinary.
When we began in early July, 2021, British Columbia Timber Sales (BCTS) was punching a road into the three cutblocks in Argonaut Creek which had not been deferred. Eleven cutblocks had already been deferred earlier in the year until mountain caribou herd planning is completed. At the moment, this is timed for the end of 2022. The road-building equipment was removed due to our blockade.
The Bigmouth River Forest Service Road blockade in summer 2021
In late August, BCTS asked if they could stabilize this road, but OGR said they would not let them in to do this unless they deferred these last three remaining blocks in the pristine Argonaut Creek valley. They never replied, but sent helicopters in twice to ditch the road by hand. These last three blocks were scheduled to be auctioned off in the fall of 2021, but this did not happen as the road was probably still unstable and certainly unfinished, and there was a blockade on the Argonaut and, in fact, the whole Bigmouth Valley and Louis Lee branch. The last three blocks of Argonaut Creek valley were deferred in the November 2, 2021 announcement of proposed deferrals. These three blocks were not conditional on Indigenous approval or anything else. So this was a clear win, which was mostly due to the OGR blockade.
OGR then did a pop-up blockade of the Akolkolex logging road near Revelstoke because Downie Timber was logging in proposed deferral areas. Downie stopped logging in these proposed deferral areas, but—it has to be said—this was largely due to being given approvals for additional adjacent cutblocks. The action also led to a meeting with Downie, which has opened communication. There has been discussion of logging in some areas rather than in others in the Bigmouth. However, OGR has declined this “compromise” and continues to emphasize policy change at the provincial level to stop logging old and primary forests. So here we remain.
Virginia Thompson is a member of Old Growth Revylution.