Downie Timber operations in priority deferral area is blockaded.
A report from the forest defenders
Old Growth Revylution is disappointed to see Downie Timber logging cut blocks that overlap with the highest value old growth forests, as identified by the Ministry of Forests Technical Advisory Panel.
On November 2, 2021, the Government of British Columbia announced its intended commitment to the protection of 2.6 million hectares of BC’s most at-risk old-growth forests, pending discussions with Indigenous Nations. These intended deferrals are an initial step that could stop the bleeding in our at-risk ecosystems. By continuing to allow logging throughout at-risk old-growth areas, the province increases risk of ecosystem collapse and continues to erode public trust.
As of Monday, November 29, Old Growth Revylution is blocking access to Akolkolex Creek Forest Service Road in order to stop logging in the area, notably on Holyk and Pulley FSRs. These two drainages are near the already deferred and ecologically unique Incomappleux drainage and include ecosystem markers that mirror those of the Incomappleux.
After decades of scientific studies, letter writing, protests and meetings, species of flora and fauna continue to decline throughout our province at an alarming rate. Activists, scientists, concerned citizens, celebrities and even the government realize that time has run out and more direct action is needed to save what is left of our ancient forests.
The Sinixt, K'tunaxa, Secwepemc and Syilx First Nations have all voiced their demand to stop old-growth logging in the Inland Temperate Rainforest. Sinixt, Secwepemc and Syilx elders and matriarchs have visited our Bigmouth Blockade on a number of occasions to show their support for the protection of old-growth forests and the habitat of the critically endangered mountain caribou.
The Inland Temperate Rainforest covers 40 million acres and stretches over 1100 km from Idaho to Prince George, encompassing a globally unique landscape. This ecosystem is the last Inland Temperate Rainforest (ITR) left on Earth.
Cedar-hemlock rainforests are incredibly important for carbon storage and sequestration. Much of that carbon is stored in living trees, downed trees, and soils which are disturbed or removed once logged. Landscapes dominated by intact old forests often store several times as much carbon as second-growth forests. The ITR is a carbon sanctuary in the age of climate crisis. It deserves protection simply on that basis.
The government must do their job to support a just transition away from old-growth logging immediately. It is critical that the remnants of at-risk old growth are left untouched. These trees truly are worth more standing. Once they are gone, they are gone, never to return again, even in our great-grandchildren’s lifetimes.
We are not anti-logging. We stand to demand our government implement immediate policy change to permanently protect remaining old-growth forests, support a just transition away from old-growth logging and invest in second-growth forests. We believe individuals employed by the logging industry, and families who depend on it, have an equal if not elevated right to ask for old-growth protection. Our combined energy can be directed towards a healthier future. Together we can affect positive change.
1. Immediately defer all logging of old-growth forests that meet the criteria laid out by the Old Growth Strategic Review.
2. Implement a rapid and just transition away from all old-growth logging while providing fair economic alternatives to Indigenous Nations and rural communities that are economically dependent on old-growth logging.
3. Work to return control of the land to the Indigenous Nations and communities that live on, and care for those lands.
We acknowledge the land we reside on is the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Sinixt, K'tunaxa, Secwepemc and Syilx people.