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RCMP remove Fairy Creek protesters as trenches fill with rain

Rainforest Flying Squad concerned that logging has resumed
An RCMP specialist removes a protester from a trench across a road at a blockade in the Fairy Creek watershed. (Submitted by BC RCMP)

Police are continuing to enforce the injunction against blockades in the Fairy Creek area, as protesters are claiming that logging has resumed on Tree Farm License 46.

During enforcement efforts on Saturday, Sept. 4, police say they had to rescue two people from trenches across roads in the Fairy Creek watershed as rainfall caused the trenches to fill up with water. The water was removed and diverted, and obstruction-removal specialists worked to remove the individuals.

Arrests on Monday, Aug. 6 included an individual who was suspended from a cantilever off a bridge, and other protesters who had to be removed from trenches.

Since enforcement of the BC Supreme Court injunction began in May, the RCMP have arrested 866 protesters, including 72 who have been arrested more than once with a combined total of 175 times. The protests are poised to become the largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history when arrests surpass the 900 from the Clayoquot Sound protests in 1993.

Meanwhile, the Rainforest Flying Squad, which has been organizing the protests, says that logging has resumed in the area as cooler weather has diminished the risk of forest fires.

In June, the province and Teal Jones, which owns logging rights on TFL 46, agreed to a two-year deferral of old-growth logging in the Fairy Creek area and part of the Central Walbran at the request of the Pacheedaht, Ditidaht and Huu-ay-ahy First Nations, but protesters want to see all old-growth logging in B.C. brought to an end.

According to RFS spokesperson Joshua Wright, 292 hectares of old-growth logging have been approved during Teal Jones’ tenure in Tree Farm License 46, and 113 hectares have been clear-cut since RCMP enforcement began.

“Fairy Creek is a microcosm,” Wright said. “Even as our blockades defend around 100 hectares of ancient forest, old growth is being logged to the tune of 150,000 hectares per year, across the province. Meanwhile, we have found endangered and threatened species in every old-growth forest we’ve looked in.”

READ MORE: Forest company, RCMP, old-growth defenders due in court this month for 4 hearings

READ MORE: RCMP watchdog gets more than 70 enforcement complaints from Fairy Creek blockades

Kevin Rothbauer

About the Author: Kevin Rothbauer

Kevin Rothbauer is the sports reporter for the Cowichan Valley Citizen
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