Protesters gather in Duncan in solidarity with Forest March BC in April 2019. People will be gathered in groups across at least 13 B.C. communities to protest industrial logging and destruction of old growth forest on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. (Forest March BC)

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

A series of marches dedicated to stopping industrial logging and preserving old growth forests are coming to communities all around B.C. on Friday (Sept. 18)

The events are spearheaded by Forest March B.C., a grassroots group dedicated to “uniting and empowering B.C. communities located on the front lines of of forestry by creating a network of engaged resistance and solidarity for nature-based management of B.C. forests,” although most marches are led by groups not affiliated with the organization.

Organizer Jennifer Houghton said the rally had three goals: prioritizing ecosystem health in forestry legislation, involving affected communities in the management of public land and prohibiting private corporations from having any say in public land decisions.

“This is a way of unifying communities who’ve been negatively impacted by industrial clearcut forestry and giving communities a say in what’s going on in the land and the forests around us,” Houghton told Black Press Media by phone Thursday (Sept. 17).

“We’re the ones who are impacted by what’s happening in forests.”

Houghton said that while the group is focused on preserving old growth and responsible forest management, that doesn’t mean they are anti-logging or anti-forestry.

“We’ve been talking to workers and there’s a lot of uncertainty for forestry workers right now,” she said. “I hear from forestry workers that they’re concerned that B.C. is being ‘logged out’ and they’re not going to have long-term jobs.”

Houghton has personally felt the impact of logging. She lived in Grand Forks through the 2018 floods, which destroyed low-lying houses in the town, and is a plaintiff in a lawsuit that alleges negligent logging led to the destruction of their homes. The lawsuit has three plaintiffs and is targeted at six forestry and development companies, as well as the provincial government. None of the claims have been proven in court.

“The watershed above Grand Forks had an incredibly damaging effect on the local community,” Houghton said.

“The people who are making decisions about forestry in B.C. are corporations and that’s not good for small towns.”

But climate and environmental factors have impacted not just those near Grand Forks.

“It’s impacting climate change, our ability to be protected from fires… we need intact forests. We’re all at risk right now.”

Marches are scheduled across 13 communities in B.C. planned by groups in alignment with, but not affiliated by, Forest March BC, along with a main march in front of the B.C. Legislature from noon to 2 p.m. Friday. The communities with marches include Victoria, Powell River, Nanaimo, Whistler, Comox Valley, Nelson, Peachland, Gabriola Island, Golden, Salmon Arm, Vernon, Salt Spring Island and Oceanside Parksville.

Specific locations for the marches are not being revealed so as to aid organizers in keeping them small and COVID-compliant. Participants are asked to physically distance and wear masks.

READ MORE: What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Environmentforestry

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

Just Posted

<em>Black Press file photo</em>
Clare’s Corner: Giving thanks despite the negatives

Thanksgiving may have passed, but it’s never too late to count your blessings

<em>Black Press file photo</em>
Police look for vehicle after dangerous driving incident

The driver was speeding and failed to pull over for police

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

Keep a lookout for monsters around Kitimat during the week leading up to Halloween. (Black Press file photo)
Lions and tigers and…monsters? Oh my!

Find monsters hiding around town during the week leading up to Halloween to be entered for a prize

Liz Thorne is president of the Snow Valley Ski Club, and has been involved with the club and cross country skiing for over 30 years. (Clare Rayment)
In Our Valley: Liz Thorne

Thorne has been involved with the Snow Valley Ski Club for over 30 years

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

The Anonymous YVR is an Instagram page that reviews restaurants and other establishments around B.C. based on how well they adhere to COVID-19 rules. (Instagram)
Anonymous Instagram page reviews COVID-19 safety measures at B.C. businesses

There are a number of public health orders various types of establishments must follow to slow virus’s spread

Most Read