Andrea Inness, Forest Campaigner with the Ancient Forest Alliance, stands next to an old-growth western red cedar in what was a proposed cutblock near Port Renfrew. The tree measures nearly 11 feet in diameter and is estimated to be more than 500 years old.

Day of action Thursday in Courtenay in support of old-growth forest protection

Rally starts at Courtenay Courthouse lawn at 4 p.m.

Do you care about Vancouver Island? Do you care about super, natural British Columbia? Do you care about the legacy you leave your children and your children’s children?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then you are asked to be on the Courtenay Courthouse lawn at 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 6, to join others across the province in a Day of Action. That’s when residents of the Valley and many others province-wide will lift their voices to demand that the NDP stop provincial government-sponsored clear-cutting of the little remaining old-growth forest left on the Island and South Coast.

“We need to send a strong, clear message about catastrophic clear-cutting sanctioned by our Premier, John Horgan, our Minister of Forests, Doug Donaldson; and our local MLAs, including Ronna-Rae Leonard,” said Linda Safford, of Save BC Forests, in a press release. “They and the NDP government in Victoria are using BC Timber Sales, an agency that supposedly represents the people of BC, to auction off significant tracts of old-growth to the highest forest industry bidder.

“Our provincial government needs to stop telling British Columbians that BC has enough old growth left to sustainably harvest when the truth is that less than 10 percent of productive, valley-bottom Island old growth remains.”

According to Sierra Club BC, 10,000 hectares of old growth are harvested each year on the Island alone. Such harvesting endangers animal and plant species that depend on old growth ecosystems. Each old growth tree that falls to the axe releases the carbon it has stored for hundreds of years and that same tree’s ability to store more carbon is irreplaceable (1).

“Our Day of Action will call out the provincial government and its representatives who are relentlessly abandoning old-growth forests to the interests of the logging industry,” said Safford. “We will no longer stand by and watch old growth giants disappear forever from the Island. Join us on June 6 at 4 p.m. on the Courtenay Courthouse lawn at 6th and England and let your outrage be heard.”

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Approximately 25 people stood outside MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard’s office Feb. 6 to make a point to impose a moratorium on old-growth forest logging. Another rally is slated for June 6. Photo by Jolene Rudisuela

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