Protesters in forest-related garb at the Forest March BC rally in Centennial Square. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Protesters in forest-related garb at the Forest March BC rally in Centennial Square. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

B.C. residents rally to protect old-growth forests

Protesters at B.C. legislature and dozens of B.C. communities stage ForestMarchBC 2021

On the doorstep of the B.C. legislature, attendees of the ForestMarch BC 2021 rally made their message clear Friday in Victoria: government promises to reduce old-growth logging and include Indigenous peoples in B.C. forestry decisions are not happening fast enough.

They were there as part of a province-wide event scheduled in nearly 30 communities across the province, including Vernon, Vancouver and Revelstoke.

The provincial government was largely the target of the protesters, who said it is stalling on enacting 14 recommendations from an old-growth strategic review published last September. More delays means more destruction of stands of ancient forests, they said.

RELATED: B.C. suspends some old-growth logging, consults communities

Longtime environmental advocate and Order of Canada member Vicky Husband, who drew a great cheer from the crowd of about 90 people at her introduction, referenced herself and previous speaker Pacheedaht First Nation member Bill Jones as the elders amongst the forest protectors.

“And we are still fighting for what I like to call the ancient forest,” she said as the rally begun in Centennial Square. “That’s what we’re standing up here to protect and it’s going to take a lot of public action and outrage. This government just lies, they don’t intend to protect anything … I was saying over 30 years ago we’re over-cutting our forests, and we still are.”

In Nanaimo, about 45 people took part in a short march to stage a demonstration on the Pearson Bridge.

“If we don’t have forests, we don’t have watersheds and if we don’t have watersheds, we don’t have drinking water. We don’t have streams that flow down from up in the forests where the salmon spawn. With no salmon, no orcas,” June Ross of the Vancouver Island Water Watch Coalition said in her address to the crowd.

Leah Morgan of Extinction Rebellion Nanaimo said all living things are interconnected in the environment and removal of the last old growth forest stands will fundamentally change the ecosystem and eliminate biodiversity on the Island.

“We know that we live in complex web of life on the Earth and every intricate thing, from the smallest thing that we cannot see, even with a microscope, to the biggest things on the planet are all connected,” she said

Morgan said logging protesters manning logging road blockades leading to old growth forest at Vancouver Island’s Fairy Creek watershed near Port Renfrew also need support to “hold the line so we can preserve that forest.”

Protesters have maintained logging road blockades in the area since the summer of 2020.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

RELATED: Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

RELATED: Environmental group calls on province to preserve old-growth forests

forestryprotest

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

 

Longtime environmental advocate Vicky Husband speaks at a ForestMarchBC rally on Friday in Victoria’s Centennial Square. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Longtime environmental advocate Vicky Husband speaks at a ForestMarchBC rally on Friday in Victoria’s Centennial Square. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Just Posted

President of the West Coast Fine Arts Show, Brian Croft, said pandemic restrictions necessitated a shift to an entirely online event this year, running until April 30. (File photo)
The West Fine Art Show shifts to an online-only event amid tighter health orders

Website version retains the flavour of the annual live exhibition

A vaccine-filled needle awaits injection, during a COVID-19 vaccination clinic held Jan. 15, 2021 at Amica White Rock. Community Living B.C.-funded workers learned April 8 that they, too, can now be vaccinated. (Tracy Holmes file photo)
Support workers for those with disabilities given vaccine priority

News shared with Community Living B.C.-funded staff on April 8

British Columbia Attorney General David Eby. (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Attorney General covers housing, homelessness and justice reform in Surrey Zoom

‘I think it would be really great to hold some sessions in Surrey,’ Eby says of legislative assembly

Scott Wheatley stands with the main Kenyan and Ugandan umpiring crew that he trained at the Nakirebe Complex outside of Kampala in 2020. Wheatley, a member-at-large with Softball B.C. is supporting a recent open letter from the sporting body that calls on the government to reinstate gameplay for kids in organized sports. (Photo: Submitted)
Softball B.C. urges provincial health officer to lift ban on gameplay for kids in organized sports

Sporting body sent open letter to both Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix

Surrey Fire Service is on scene of a fire in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue Saturday morning (April 10). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews on scene of house fire

It happened in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

People stroll through rows of tulips in bloom during the Tulips of the Valley Festival on May 2, 2017. The colourful spring event, now called Chilliwack Tulips, opens on Sunday, April 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Fraser Valley tulip attraction returns this weekend for 1 month

More than 6.5 million bulbs in all at this year’s colourful Chilliwack Tulips event

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed on April 4, according to a statement from police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police name victim following city’s fourth homicide of 2021

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed Sunday in the Downtown Eastside

Most Read