Protesters gather in Duncan in solidarity with Forest March BC in April 2019. People will be gathered in groups across at least 13 B.C. communities to protest industrial logging and destruction of old growth forest on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. (Forest March BC)

Protesters gather in Duncan in solidarity with Forest March BC in April 2019. People will be gathered in groups across at least 13 B.C. communities to protest industrial logging and destruction of old growth forest on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. (Forest March BC)

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

A series of marches dedicated to stopping industrial logging and preserving old growth forests are coming to communities all around B.C. on Friday (Sept. 18)

The events are spearheaded by Forest March B.C., a grassroots group dedicated to “uniting and empowering B.C. communities located on the front lines of of forestry by creating a network of engaged resistance and solidarity for nature-based management of B.C. forests,” although most marches are led by groups not affiliated with the organization.

Organizer Jennifer Houghton said the rally had three goals: prioritizing ecosystem health in forestry legislation, involving affected communities in the management of public land and prohibiting private corporations from having any say in public land decisions.

“This is a way of unifying communities who’ve been negatively impacted by industrial clearcut forestry and giving communities a say in what’s going on in the land and the forests around us,” Houghton told Black Press Media by phone Thursday (Sept. 17).

“We’re the ones who are impacted by what’s happening in forests.”

Houghton said that while the group is focused on preserving old growth and responsible forest management, that doesn’t mean they are anti-logging or anti-forestry.

“We’ve been talking to workers and there’s a lot of uncertainty for forestry workers right now,” she said. “I hear from forestry workers that they’re concerned that B.C. is being ‘logged out’ and they’re not going to have long-term jobs.”

Houghton has personally felt the impact of logging. She lived in Grand Forks through the 2018 floods, which destroyed low-lying houses in the town, and is a plaintiff in a lawsuit that alleges negligent logging led to the destruction of their homes. The lawsuit has three plaintiffs and is targeted at six forestry and development companies, as well as the provincial government. None of the claims have been proven in court.

“The watershed above Grand Forks had an incredibly damaging effect on the local community,” Houghton said.

“The people who are making decisions about forestry in B.C. are corporations and that’s not good for small towns.”

But climate and environmental factors have impacted not just those near Grand Forks.

“It’s impacting climate change, our ability to be protected from fires… we need intact forests. We’re all at risk right now.”

Marches are scheduled across 13 communities in B.C. planned by groups in alignment with, but not affiliated by, Forest March BC, along with a main march in front of the B.C. Legislature from noon to 2 p.m. Friday. The communities with marches include Victoria, Powell River, Nanaimo, Whistler, Comox Valley, Nelson, Peachland, Gabriola Island, Golden, Salmon Arm, Vernon, Salt Spring Island and Oceanside Parksville.

Specific locations for the marches are not being revealed so as to aid organizers in keeping them small and COVID-compliant. Participants are asked to physically distance and wear masks.

READ MORE: What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Environmentforestry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Courtenay resident labours to remove the snow build-up from around her car in February 2019. The area may see snow throughout the coming weekend. Black Press file photo
Snow, winter not done with the Comox Valley quite yet

Flurries, snow and cold temps predicted for the weekend

Dr. John Hooper is the new conductor of Island Voices. Photo supplied
Island Voices welcomes new conductor

This spring will be a time of transition for Island Voices chamber… Continue reading

From left—Rev. Ryan Slifka (minister, St. George’s); Ellen Wise (elder, St. George’s); Evangeline Mathura, (vice-president, Dawn to Dawn); Grant Shilling (outreach worker, Dawn to Dawn), with a cheque for $10,433.15.
Courtenay church donates more than $10,000 to transitional housing and support service

St. Goerge’s presents Dawn to Dawn with $10,433.15 cheque

A pine siskin is treated for salmonella poisoning at the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) hospital, in Merville. Photo by Gylaine Anderston.
Salmonella poisoning in birds and pets a result of unclean bird feeders

Have you ever endured a bout of food poisoning? If you remember… Continue reading

Inside the new shop operated by Wachiay Friendship Centre. Jared Kotyk (left), Jan Kotyk, Paloma Joy, Tim Gagnon, Jonah Hill, Jennifer Corbett and Tally, the shop dog. Photo supplied
Wachiay opens store-front arts shop in downtown Courtenay

There’s still tailor-work in the back of old AnnSew site, with the store in front

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

442 Transport and Rescue Squadron from CFB Comox was tasked to assist Arrowsmith Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) in extracting an injured hiker off of Mount Arrowsmith on Jan. 17. Photo by Capt.Reg Reimer
442 Transport and Rescue Squadron assists in Mount Arrowsmith rescue

“The turbulent conditions … made the hoisting quite challenging.”

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Most Read