Sarah Matear and other protesters march down Commercial Street on Friday as part of the March for the Forests calling for greater protection of old-growth forests and watersheds. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Protesters march in Nanaimo, calling for greater protection of forests and watersheds

March for the Forests happened downtown on Friday afternoon

Protesters marched for the forests today in Nanaimo, unconvinced by the province’s recently announced new approach to old-growth forest management.

An event called March for the Forests, organized locally by Extinction Rebellion and the Vancouver Island Water Watch Coalition, was held Friday, with a rally at Diana Krall Plaza and then a march through downtown.

Protesters called for greater protection of old-growth forests and watersheds, and more public decision-making about forestry practices on Crown land and privately managed land.

Robert Fuller, who went on a hunger strike for old-growth forests earlier this summer, said there’s “righteous anger” surrounding the issue. He held up his left hand, which he’d painted green.

“This doesn’t mean go. This means stop,” Fuller said. “Stop industrialized logging. Stop logging our old-growth ecosystem … Do it now before they all fade away and we can’t take our children and our children’s children to see them.”

June Ross, chairperson of the water watch coalition, said her reading of forest acts shows water seems to be a secondary priority for governments compared to profits for the forest industry. She asked people to think about what’s happening and become advocates.

“Please be vocal…” she said. “We have to scream loud, loud, loud.”

Nanaimo Coun. Ben Geselbracht told those at the rally how he visited Fairy Creek in Port Renfrew last month, where protesters are blocking logging road construction. He said people would be amazed at how quickly logging is happening and suggested both activism and political solutions are needed. He referred to the B.C. government’s recent announcements about its old-growth forests strategy.

“It’s very clear that we need to halt all high-productive old-growth logging areas under this moratorium and deferment, and that every recommendation of that report gets put into place, or else all of us are just going to be watching these forests disappear and it is heart-breaking,” Geselbracht said.

READ ALSO: Protesters in Nanaimo call for greater protection of old-growth forests

The B.C. government announced this month initial actions in an old-growth strategy, including a stop to harvesting in nine areas of the province totalling 350,000 hectares. The province announced as well an intention to work with indigenous leaders, industry, environmental groups, community organizations and local governments to discuss recommendations in the report and implications of those recommendations.

The province said it will begin “work to address information gaps, update inventory and improve public access to information, and bring management of old forests into compliance with existing provincial targets and guidelines.”



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

protest

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

Just Posted

(BLACK PRESS FILE PHOTO)
Nanaimo man killed in Highway 4 crash

RCMP say dirt bike turned ‘suddenly’ into traffic

Nanaimo RCMP arrest man with axe in downtown park. (File photo)
Man seen with axe at Nanaimo park, numerous RCMP officers respond

Incident happened Friday evening at Maffeo Sutton Park

Nanaimo Track and Field club member Olivia Lundman set a Canadian record in the U18 3,000-metre race walk event at meet in Kamloops this past weekend. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo Track and Field Club race walker sets national record at her first meet of the season

Olivia Lundman breaks 30-year-old mark in U18 3,000-metre race walk

BC Liberal candidate Duck Paterson on the campaign trail. (Submitted photo)
BC Liberal candidate Duck Paterson clarifies position on climate change

Paterson calls human activity a ‘contributing’ factor and says climate change must be addressed

Bouquet to the person who sent the beef about the rude couple at the fast food restaurant. I want to say a huge thank you for standing up for that poor person who had to endure their bullying. That couple would be my father and his girlfriend. It’s about time someone told them off.
Beefs & Bouquets, Oct. 21

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Candidates in the Nanaimo riding include Kathleen Jones, B.C. Liberal Party, top left; Sheila Malcolmson, NDP; Lia Versaevel, Green Party. (Photos submitted/News Bulletin photo/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Candidates in the Parksville-Qualicum riding include Rob Lyon, B.C. Green Party, top left; Don Purdey, Conservatives; John St. John, independent; Michelle Stilwell, B.C. Liberals; and Adam Walker, B.C. NDP. (Photos submitted/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Parksville-Qualicum candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Candidates in the Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding include Chris Istace, B.C. Green Party, top left; Duck Paterson, B.C. Liberals; and Doug Routley, NDP. (Photos submitted/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo-North Cowichan candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Rotary Centennial Garden at Maffeo Sutton Park. (Sean Fenzl photo)
New Rotary garden officially open at Nanaimo’s Maffeo Sutton Park

Rotary Centennial Garden design inspired by the shoreline

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Vancouver Island First Nations back Nova Scotia’s Indigenous lobster fishermen

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council calls for action before lives are lost

Most Read