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Fairy Creek Blockades

The B.C. government has accepted a request from three First Nations to halt old-growth logging in the Fairy Creek watershed and Central Walbran areas for two years, a decision that comes as the RCMP continues to arrest blockaders who have obstructed access to cutblocks since August.

The Pacheedaht, Ditidaht and Huu-ay-aht First Nations welcomed the province’s announcement, which came two days after the nations revealed they signed a declaration called the Hišuk ma c̕awak Declaration to take back their power over their ḥahahuułi (traditional territories). Over the next two years, the nations plan to work on forest stewardship plans informed by Indigenous priorities.

The RCMP has arrested more than 180 people at ongoing protests in the Fairy Creek and Caycuse watersheds on southern Vancouver Island, part of an enforcement of an injunction that has become a flashpoint over B.C.’s logging practices and the province’s remaining old-growth forests.

Police enforcement came after forestry company Teal Jones obtained a court injunction banning blockades of logging activities in the two watersheds. Teal-Jones said it would abide by the declaration signed by the nations.

Premier John Horgan said he is hopeful that the deferral decision will end the protests at Fairy Creek, though blockaders have said protests will continue because other nearby old-growth areas are at risk from planned logging.

On May 26, a coalition of press freedom groups and Canadian news organizations, including The Narwhal, announced it would file legal action to allow journalists substantive access to report on the continuing demonstrations, noting the RCMP’s broad use of exclusion zones has prevented journalists from doing their jobs.

John Horgan’s NDP government has promised to implement the 14 recommendations issued in April of 2020 by a B.C. old-growth strategic review panel. More than a year later, none of those proposed changes — including an immediate halt to logging in B.C’s rarest forests — have been fully implemented.

Forester Garry Merkel, who co-chaired the independent panel, said he doesn’t expect tensions over B.C.’s logging practices to cool down any time soon.

“We’re going to have Fairy Creeks happen all the time,” he told The Narwhal.

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Latest News about "Fairy Creek Blockades"

Pacheedaht First Nation tells B.C. to defer old-growth logging in Fairy Creek

The Pacheedaht, Ditidaht, and Huu-ay-aht First Nations have formally given notice to the province of B.C. to defer old-growth logging for two years in the...

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