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

Northern Health saw 14 cases in one day earlier this week, the highest in one day since the beginning of the pandemic. (Image courtesy CDC)
Northern Health sees highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Oct. 27 saw 14 cases reported, the biggest single-day total since the beginning of the pandemic

This weapon was seized by Houston RCMP after a traffic stop Oct. 14 (Houston RCMP photo)
Guns, cash and suspected narcotics seized

Seizure follows traffic stop on Oct. 14

Medical staff at Bulkley Valley District Hospital urge everyone to continue to follow public health guidelines to combat the spread of coronavirus. (File photo)
COVID-19 and influenza update from Bulkley Valley medical staff

Local MDs urge vaccinations and mask wearing to combat virus duo

This photo of approximately 10 years ago shows Laureen Fabian, on the left, and daughter Caterina Andrews. Fabian went missing last October and her daughter is looking for answers. (Contributed photo)
Laureen Fabian’s disappearance remains a mystery

It’s been a year since she went missing

Sooke’s Paul Larouche enjoys gold panning along the Sooke River, looking for small treasures. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Island man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Search and Rescue Technicians carry a stretcher to the CH149 Cormorant during a 442 Squadron Search and Rescue Exercise in Tofino on February 28. (Photo by: Cpl Joey Beaudin, 19 Wing Imaging, Comox)
Father and son found dead after weeklong search near Pemberton

The father and son had set out for a day of mushroom picking last Thursday

A full moon rises over Mt. Cheam on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Rare full moon, Daylight Saving makes for a uniquely spooky Halloween – despite COVID-19

We can’t host costume parties but this weekend is still one for the history books

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Most Read