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B.C.’s forest policies unsatisfying to old-growth logging protesters in Nanaimo

Protest organized by Extinction Rebellion blocks Dunsmuir Street again

Protesters previously tried a hunger strike, this time they offered to break bread, but still they’re left wanting more when it comes to B.C.’s policies around old-growth logging.

Extinction Rebellion Nanaimo organized another protest Friday, June 4, on Dunsmuir Street in front of the office of Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson, asking the B.C. government to put a stop to old-growth logging.

Robert Fuller and James Darling, who held a hunger strike there last summer, were seated at a table in the middle of the road to represent their desire to sit down and talk, even after being advised the MLA was in caucus meetings.

Fuller said he wants to have discussions about old-growth ecosystems, biodiversity loss, raw log exports and species-at-risk legislation.

He said there were some good things in the government’s announcement on forest policy earlier this week, including changes to tenures, but said he was anticipating more at a time when the world is watching.

“We had expected more of a paradigm shift…” Fuller said. “Virtually all they talked was fibre, fibre, fibre, they didn’t talk about the ecosystems that are supported in the old-growth forest.”

Darling said the Earth is in the midst of a mass extinction event that’s being driven by human activity, and worries it will end in catastrophe.

“So you would hope that something as basic as preserving what remains of the most biodiverse regions in the province would be something that the government would do,” he said. “That is a baseline-level thing that a government that is looking out for the future would be doing.”

The B.C. government, in a press release last week, said the “vast majority of old-growth in B.C. – 10 million hectares – is protected or not economical to harvest.” It added that it is engaging with First Nations and stakeholders on a plan to protect ancient forests, is in the process of identifying areas to potentially defer logging, and has developed a timeline to implement all recommendations in last year’s old-growth review.

READ ALSO: Protesters in Nanaimo ask RCMP to stand down from south Island forest blockades

READ ALSO: Redistributing B.C. forest licences a long-term project, Horgan says

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Greg Sakaki

About the Author: Greg Sakaki

I have been in the community newspaper business for two decades, all of those years with Black Press Media.
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