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Demonstrators push government to move faster protecting old growth trees

Demonstrators around the province gathered today to ask the government to take action to protect old growth forests.

In Campbell River, they did it with a song in front of the MLA’s office. Rich Hagensen performed a song he wrote with Geraldine Kenny, an old-growth-themed version of “Winter Wonderland.”

The rallies, including 10 on Vancouver Island, were organized by the Sierra Club of BC and timed to catch the attention of the provincial government, which returns to the Legislative Assembly next week. Organizers say the rallies were meant to draw attention to the province’s lack of action protecting old-growth forests.

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Bonnie Brownstein from the Quadra Island chapter of the Sierra Club of BC, says in the three years since the Fairy Creek protests, the province has done little to work more closely with First Nations and protect old growth stands from logging.

“I know the Forests and Range Practices Act is under review, is changing, but it’s happening too slowly,” she says. “There needs to be outright protection [for old growth] because there is no outright protection, there’s just deferral.”

Brownstein says First Nations involved in forestry need consideration from government.

“The First Nations should be compensated for the revenue they would otherwise have gotten from logging,” she says.

The court injunction preventing protesters from accessing the Fairy Creek site expired earlier this week.



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