Activists at the Fairy Creek blockade sites have no intention of backing down in their aims to protect a rare old growth forest.
Logging company Teal Jones Group has filed an injunction application with the B.C. Supreme Court, requesting to remove the blockades from two different sites in the Port Renfrew area until Sept. 4. The injunction application will be heard on March 4 in Vancouver, and asks the court to authorize RCMP to arrest and remove anyone in violation.
Two blockade sites have held steady for nearly seven months near Fairy Creek, preventing Teal Jones, which holds the timber licence in the area, from building new roads and accessing cutblocks. The order sought by Teal Cedar, a branch of Teal Jones, would limit protests “only to the extent necessary to ensure that Teal Cedar can conduct its operations unhindered.”
Court documents state that the blockades have caused significant damage to the business, and “threaten not only Teal Cedar’s right to harvest timber, but also the continued operation of its mills.”
The company estimates that the inaccessible timber is valued at about $10 million.
“If Teal Cedar cannot harvest the expected volumes from TFL 46 this year, Teal Cedar may be forced to temporarily shut down its mills,” states the company in its court application. “An injunction is necessary to prevent further unlawful attacks on Teal Cedar’s business.”
Joshua Wright, an organizer of the Fairy Creek blockades, said protesters will gather outside the court house on the day of the hearing. He expects the courts will approve the injunction, and the group is preparing for a “long-standing civil disobedience” towards the potential order.
“I can’t speak for individuals, but this group has no intention of letting any logging happen in the Fairy Creek Watershed. We will do what’s necessary to protect Fairy Creek and surrounding old growth areas.”
The group is pressuring Premier John Horgan and the Ministry of Forests to put a stop to logging projects such as this, before all of the old growth is harvested.
“Wild areas like these are environmentally, climatically, spiritually important for countless reasons. They are massive reservoirs for carbon, are home to so much biodiversity, they hold water and prevent flooding. This intact system of abundance is so uncommon, some of the trees are 2,000 years old,” said Wright, 17. “We are going to lose our forests and destroy our oceans. At some point you have to take a stand. I hope that if I ever have kids I can take them to Fairy Creek. I hope when I am older that there will be something left.”
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