The BC Supreme Court has granted an injunction to remove protestors and road blockages at the old growth forest in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew.
Old growth forests are defined as forests that are more than 250 years old.
The road blockades began in early August 2020 and there have been eight blockades at various locations and adjacent roads throughout the planned cut block in Tree Forest License 46.
Last Saturday, Fairy Creek conservation protests took place at the legislature in Victoria, and last February protestors crowded John Horgan’s constituency office in Langford.
The road blockages at Fairy Creek continue to persist despite the injunction, but no action has been taken by police or by the Surrey-owned logging company who will be logging the forest, the Teal-Jones Group.
The protestors refer to themselves as the “Rainforest Flying Squad” and on their website have said, “Despite the injunction granted to the logging company today in court, Fairy Creek forest defenders vow to continue the fight to protect old-growth forests.”
The Teal-Jones group said about 200 hectares of the approximately 1,200 hectares in the Fairy Creek watershed would be harvested. 722 hectares are protected old growth forest.
The Fairy Creek old growth forest resides on Pacheedaht nation territory and some members of the Pacheedaht nation territory have expressed their support for the protestors.
Bill Jones, of the nation, stated that the old growth forest within the Fairy Creek watershed is essential to his culture and religion.
None claim to represent the Pacheedaht nation territory collectively, according to the Supreme Court of BC’s Teal Cedar Products Ltd. v. Rainforest Flying Squad.
The old growth forest is also part of Premier Horgan’s riding, but Premier Horgan has failed to comment and has deferred all communications to his Forestry Minister Catrine Conroy.
Conroy said the government respects the right to peaceful protest, but that it expects people to follow the law.
A GoFundMe has been set up to cover the legal funds for protestors with a goal of $200,000.
As of this publication, over $160,000 has been raised.
“70% of all donated money has been reserved for our legal fund, and this will continue. The court has also awarded damages to the logging company,” said Yogi Shambu, the organizer of the GoFundMe.
Damages awarded from the court are due to a loss of Teal-Jones employees losing wages of “$350 to $400 each for every day of work lost,” according to the court.
Protesters have continued their road blockages, as of this publication.
Logging has been curtailed in recent years. In 2019, the Teal-Jones group began laying off over 500 employees. Logging Fairy Creek is set to employ many of those who lost their jobs.