The Teal Jones logging company plans to demolish old-growth forests in Bugaboo and Fairy Creek, near Port Renfrew, as soon as activists and blockades have been removed. Logging will continue until at least Sept. 4, 2021.
Protests such as the one reported on the Comox Valley Record website on Feb. 26 have been ongoing for the last seven months. The goal is to put pressure on Premier John Horgan to implement the recommendations of the Old Growth Strategic Review and put an end to the logging of old-growth forests. An additional concern is that the Teal Jones Group shows no commitment to First Nations equity. The protests are urging the province of British Columbia to work with First Nations to build a sustainable and equitable plan for the preservation and restoration of forests.
As a master of public health student at Simon Fraser University and a lifetime resident of Vancouver Island, I am well-versed in the importance of place-attachment for Indigenous and community health. I am also deeply aware of the role that old-growth forests play in maintaining a healthy ecosystem.
The logging of forests in Bugaboo and Fairy Creek are representative of Indigenous and ecological health equity violations occurring on a global scale in the 21st century. This is a public health issue that requires immediate attention.
To my community: if you share my concern in this health equity violation, please write to Premier John Horgan demanding an end to logging of old-growth forests, and demanding inclusion of First Nations in forest preservation efforts.