The BC government announced Wednesday afternoon that it is honouring the request of the Pacheedaht, Ditidaht and Huu-ay-aht First Nations for deferring old-growth harvesting in the Fairy Creek watershed and central Walbran areas.
The deferrals are intended to protect all old growth in the Fairy Creek watershed and the central Walbran area for two years while the First Nations title holders develop resource-stewardship plans.
Asked whether this will affect the old-growth logging protests and Premier Horgan said he was hopeful that the protestors will understand the process it takes to defer old growth logging.
“I’m hopeful that those who have taken to the roads of southern Vancouver Island will understand that this process is not one that can happen overnight,” said Premier Horgan.
“I understand the importance of preserving these areas but I also understand that you can’t turn on a dime when you’re talking about an industry that has been the foundation of BC’s economy.”
Premier Horgan acknowledged the economic loss of the forestry sector associated with the deferrals and said that it would bear a “modest job loss.”
“There will be costs to moving in this direction but those are going to be dollars well spent,” said Horgan.
“We’re changing the way we do business on the land.”
As of Wednesday, June 8th, the RCMP had arrested 194 individuals for breaching the injunction set forth by the BC Supreme Court on April 1st in favour of the Teal-Jones Group, who were in charge of logging the Fairy Creek watershed area.
See the map of the old-growth deferral area below: