Protesters at Fairy Creek say they will stand their work isn’t done despite a declaration ordering a two-year deferral of old-growth logging on the traditional territories of the Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations. (Zoe Ducklow/Black Press Media)

Protesters at Fairy Creek say they will stand their work isn’t done despite a declaration ordering a two-year deferral of old-growth logging on the traditional territories of the Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations. (Zoe Ducklow/Black Press Media)

Vancouver Island First Nations declaration not enough for old-growth protesters

‘At the invitation of Elder Bill Jones, the Rainforest Flying Squad will continue to stand our ground’

Although three southwestern Vancouver Island First Nations called for a halt to both old-growth logging and related protests on their territory in a declaration made over the weekend, activists say they will stand their ground at the Fairy Creek watershed.

The Rainforest Flying Squad called the Hišuk ma c̕awak Declaration by the Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations “a welcome step in the right direction,” but don’t believe it goes far enough.

The declaration called for a two-year deferral of all old-growth logging on the traditional territories of the First Nations, including Tree Farm Licence 46, on which the disputed Fairy Creek watershed sits. The provincial government and Teal Jones, which owns the logging rights for TFL 46, agreed to abide by the declaration.

READ MORE: First Nations tell B.C. to pause old growth logging on southwest Vancouver Island

The RFS and Pacheedaht elder Bill Jones said they are awaiting more details about the declaration and “remain concerned that the declaration allows for the status quo of old-growth logging to continue unabated across the territory.”

“No, we must not stand down, as all First Nations are locked into unfair contracts that tie their hands,” Elder Bill Jones stated.

In addition to calling for the end to old-growth logging on their territories, the three First Nations governments also said that no third parties have the right to speak on their behalf.

“Moreover, for third parties to be welcome in their ḥahahuułi [traditional territories], they must respect their governance and stewardship, sacred principles, and right to economically benefit from the resources within the ḥahahuułi,” read a statement on the Huu-ay-aht First Nations official website.

The RFS is demanding the protection of the entire Fairy Creek watershed, and not only the old growth that the Hišuk ma c̕awak Declaration addresses.

“Any deferral on Fairy Creek MUST include the entire 2,080 hectare Fairy Creek Rainforest, not just the old growth within the watershed,” the group said. “This would include protecting the hundreds of hectares of at-risk old-growth adjacent to the Fairy Creek watershed in both Granite Creek and in the area known as the ‘2000 Road.’ We hope that the final agreement between the Pacheedaht and provincial government will reflect this. Likewise we are calling for deferral of logging across the entire special management zone in the Central Walbran.”

The three First Nations will still permit second- and third-growth logging in a number of areas within their traditional territories, and the RFS is concerned about those areas as well as another 1.3 million hectares of at-risk old growth identified by the Sierra Club of BC.

“The province must come to the table with conservation financing and economic alternatives for First Nations, and create a just transition to a second growth industry,” the RFS statement said. “Until these things happen, at the invitation of Elder Bill Jones, the Rainforest Flying Squad will continue to stand our ground to defend our last ancient forests.

READ MORE: Solidarity builds for Indigenous claims over Fairy Creek watershed on Vancouver Island

READ MORE: 300 protesters hike in to Vancouver Island old-growth logging camps

Fairy Creek watershedforestryIndigenousprotest

Just Posted

Brandon Hobbs (turquoise shirt), brother of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs, gathers with other family and friends to distribute posters in Chilliwack on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Search efforts expand to Chilliwack and beyond for missing Abbotsford man

Family, friends put up posters in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope for missing 22-year-old Adam Hobbs

poster
Drop-in Covid vaccine clinic in Mission June 17-18

Neighbourhood clinics complement appointment-based clinics currently operating in Mission

Stock photo by LEEROY Agency from Pixabay
Drop-in vaccination clinics slated in Abbotsford for construction workers

Among three sites in Lower Mainland holding no-appointment clinics in June and July

A CH-149 Cormorant from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron out of CFB Comox on a training exercise in Chilliwack on June 16, 2021. (William Snow photo)
VIDEO: Military search and rescue training in Chilliwack Wednesday

CH-149 Cormorant and CC-115 Buffalo from CFB Comox participated in downed aircraft rescue simulation

(Black Press Media files)
Get ready for mosquito season

Fraser Valley Regionsl District has already taken measures to curb the number of mosquitos

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

Most Read