fairy creek blockade

Some of the biggest trees in the world are being cut down in Canada right now

Canada is home to some of the world's biggest trees which are sadly being cut down while a select few are doing what they can to help save old-growth forests. 

Earlier this week, a group called Fairy Creek Blockade took to Facebook to share some information about the logging of ancient cedars trees happening in Vancouver Island's Caycuse Valley.

"S.O.S. Some of the biggest trees in the world are being cut down right now in the Caycuse Valley on Southern Vancouver Island," the group wrote.

"Over the spring Teal Jones logged ancient cedar trees that surpassed those in the Walbran Valley and has now built four new roads into what's left of the ancient forest. They have a fifth road planned and it's heading straight into the heart of the best old growth." 

Fairy Creek Blockade member Carole Tootill explained to Freshdaily that when the group found out there was an un-logged watershed called Fairy Creek on southern Vancouver Island, they put calls out to people to help build a blockade to save it from forestry company Teal Jones.

"We've got a blockade on each side of this valley but what the company is doing is literally going up and over," Tootill said, adding that dozens of people showed up to help with the blockade. 

"With one, we stopped the logging road just in time, because it had already crested the mountain but we did protect the trees just below that point that are 1,200 years old, some people say there are trees in there that are 2,000 years old."

While the blockades were put up in August, Tootill said that the issue of logging old-growths in B.C. has been going on for some time now. 

"Of the 50-odd million hectares of forest in British Columbia, only 400,000 hectares are forests with big trees and of that, only 35,000 hectares are forests with huge trees," she said, citing a report by independent researchers called B.C.'s Old Forest Growth: A Last Stand for Biodiversity

The report says that 400,000 hectares of remaining old forest that have trees more than 20 metres tall represent less than one per cent of B.C.'s total forest area. There are only 35,000 hectares of remaining old forest that have trees more than 25 metres tall. 

"Most of the public believe that old growth is protected, they have no idea," Tootill said.

While Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson announced in September a two-year deferral of old forest harvesting in nine areas throughout the province, Tootill and others say a majority of it is in Clayoquot Sound which has already been highly logged.

"The parts that haven't been logged are being highly protected by the First Nations there, so it didn't have to be protected again."

In areas like Fairy Creek, The Narhwal reports that it is business as usual.

"It's largely talk and log in a lot of cases, with loopholes big enough to drive thousands of logging trucks through," Ken Wu, founder of the Ancient Forest Alliance, told The Narwhal.

In fact, according to The Narwhal, Clayoquot Sound represents almost three-quarters of logging deferrals in size and less than nine per cent of the total area announced for a deferral consists of old-growth forests of medium to good productivity.

"The situation is absolutely insane," Tootill said. 

Lead photo by

Ancient Forest Alliance

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