A monumental old-growth yellow cedar tree in the at-risk headwaters of Fairy Creek measuring 9.5ft in diameter, making it the 9th-widest known yellow cedar according to the BC Big Tree Registry. Photo courtesy, T J Watt

A monumental old-growth yellow cedar tree in the at-risk headwaters of Fairy Creek measuring 9.5ft in diameter, making it the 9th-widest known yellow cedar according to the BC Big Tree Registry. Photo courtesy, T J Watt

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Government and company officials continue to avoid comment as an environmental blockade near Port Renfrew reached its fifth day Friday.

Attempts by Black Press media to speak to representatives of logging company Teal Jones and area MLA and Premier John Horgan went unreturned, as protesters continued with a blockade launched Monday to stop Teal Jones Group from punching road access into the Fairy Creek watershed.

READ MORE: Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

Conservationists said they have documented a old yellow cedar tree measuring 9.5 feet in diameter in the general area. They said the tree is wider than the ninth-widest yellow cedar in Canada, as recorded in BC Big Tree Registry.

TJ Watt, a conservationist with Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA) measured record-sized ancient yellow cedars at the headwaters of Fairy Creek which the protesters say is the last unlogged old-growth valley near Port Renfrew on southern Vancouver Island.

“Yellow cedars are the oldest living organisms in the country,” said Watt and added, “these trees are the last of the ancient giants.”

Although AFA conservationists were able to measure only a dozen or more of these giant trees over the weekend, Watt said that there may be much larger undocumented big trees in the valley. The group also located a number of exceptionally large western hemlocks as well.

“Unfortunately there are no rules in place to preserve big trees. The government continues to delay and stall policy to protect these trees and in the meantime logging companies cut and raze them,” said Watt

Calling it a chance encounter, Watt said that no one would have known these record sized trees existed at this place if the logging company had gotten to it first.

Teal-Jones Group recently began building roads along the ridgeline above Fairy Creek, about four kilometres up from the popular Fairy Lake recreation spot. The company also has approved permits to build roads extending down into the headwaters and on the ridgeline on the opposite side of the upper valley.

While there are currently no pending or approved cutblock applications at this time, protesters worry boundary tape found within the valley headwaters indicates that it could be part of their future plans.

These giant yellow cedars add weight to the Fairy Creek blockade and gives protesters even more of a reason to stand firm. “This is an exceptional area of biodiversity,” said Watt.

Watt is worried that building these roads opens the door to future fragmentation of Fairy Creek.

Dr.Saul Arbess, a spokesperson for the Fairy Creek protesters told Black Press Thursday that they have not received any response from either the provincial authorities nor Teal Jones.

Arbess suspects Teal Jones Group might get a court injunction. But the protesters are still holding strong and maintaining the blockade, he said.

READ MORE: Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Environmentforestry

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

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

The Quesnel RCMP Detachment is one of seven northern police buildings which can now connect directly to Prince George for daily bail hearings. (Observer File Photo)
Bail hearings going virtual in B.C.’s north

A court pilot project will see virtual courtroom cameras set up in seven RCMP detatchments

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read