Stopping The Logging Of Redwoods In Jackson State Forest

Logging has begun in Jackson State Demonstration Forest, 48,000 acres of state owned redwood forestland in Mendocino County in Northern California. The forest consists mostly of heavily cut over land – probably logged several times since logging in the County began in the 1860s. This continued when the state acquired the land in 1947 – the hypothesis then was to acquire forestland to apply science to commerce with goal of demonstrating best practices. Today, seventy five years later, it’s not easy to find much that’s “best” in this highly disturbed forest land. Still there are numerous groves of second-growth redwood to be found – remnants of what was once one of the wonders of the natural world.

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At Fairy Creek, Indigenous-settler Allyships Are Complicated

Roots of collaboration grown at battle for old growth could strengthen fight against colonization.

As the sun rises over the mountains where the soaring trees grow in the ancient Fairy Creek forest, Sage Jackson, 23, quietly tends to a sacred fire lit two weeks earlier.

She travelled from her home in Chilliwack, B.C., in late May with the aim of staying for three days. But that changed when she saw the beauty and depth of the last-of-their-kind forests near the shores of Port Renfrew on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island.

“I want true reconciliation. Money and reparations don’t mean much to us when we’ve lost so much of our languages, our culture, our Elders, our healers and our children.”

The threat of logging and damage to irreplaceable ecosystems has been a call to action for thousands, who have set up camps to stop forestry company Teal-Jones from building a logging road and harvesting old-growth trees.

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‘Monumental Steps’ On Protecting Old Growth Forests

The British Columbia cabinet has agreed to defer the logging of 2,000 hectares of old-growth forest in the Fairy Creek watershed and the Central Walbran Valley, Premier John Horgan announced Wednesday.

The two-year deferrals fulfil a request made by the Pacheedaht, Ditidaht and Huu-ay-aht First Nations, but are unlikely to satisfy people who have been blocking logging activity in the area between Port Renfrew and Lake Cowichan on southern Vancouver Island.

“These are monumental steps,” Horgan said. “I know it appears at the moment to be just another announcement by another premier, but these announcements are transformative for an industry that has been foundational to British Columbia’s success and will be foundational to our future success, but it has to be done in a different way.”

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Groups Condemn Police Actions At Fairy Creek

Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C. – May 21, 2021: The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) has written to the provincial government and RCMP Commissioner condemning the arbitrary and unlawful RCMP Exclusion Zone in unceded Ditidaht territory. The RCMP have established two checkpoints and roadblocks along the McClure Main and Caycuse Main roads near the Fairy Creek blockade against old-growth logging.

In an open letter to Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki and Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan, the BCCLA notes that the RCMP’s actions are overbroad in scope and constitute an inconsistent, arbitrary, and illegal exercise of police discretion to block members of the public, including legal observers and the media, from accessing the area.

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Echoes Of B.C.’s War In The Woods As Fairy Creek Blockade Builds

British Columbia – Hundreds of activists are digging in at logging road blockades across a swath of southern Vancouver Island, vowing to stay as long as it takes to pressure the provincial government to immediately halt cutting of what they say is the last 3 per cent of giant old-growth trees left in the province.

The situation echoes the 1993 “war in the woods” in nearby Clayoquot Sound, which saw nearly 1,000 people arrested at similar logging blockades in the largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history.

Tensions are rising. Just this weekend, the activists stopped a team of old-growth tree cutters — called fallers — from entering a logging area in the Caycuse watershed.

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‘This Is A War In The Woods 2.0’

Port Renfrew – “Activist headquarters” is an encampment just outside of Port Renfrew, Vancouver Island. That is where the fight to prevent 200 hectares of ancient old-growth forest from being cut down continues.

“We haven’t been served (with an injunction), no,” said Molly Murphy, one of the many people calling the encampment home on Monday.

The injunction was granted by the B.C. Supreme Court on April 1. It orders the demonstrators to take down the blockades that they had set up to prevent forestry company Teal-Jones from accessing its logging operation in the area.

“We’re waiting for Teal-Jones to serve the injunction and then the police need to enforce it,” said Murphy. “That’s kind of what we are waiting for.”

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Fairy Creek Blockade Demonstrators Call In More Protesters

The blockade has been in place since August 2020, organized in part by members of the Rainforest Flying Squad, to stop the logging company Teal-Jones from building a road into the Fairy Creek area and prevent old-growth logging.

Demonstrators say they are extremely disappointed with the decision, and that now is the last chance to save the area.

“This is the last stand, literally last stand of old-growth. Ninety-seven per cent of the forests of British Columbia are tree farms,” said Shambu.

“The last time trees were saved, it took how many arrests to make that happen [in the Clayoquot protests]?”

Protesters say due to the Easter weekend, they expect a big boost in numbers of around 150 people showing up by early next week.

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The New Water Wars

Weed, California is a small timber-dependent city in rural, far-northern California. In 2016, Roseburg Forest Products (RFP), using legal bullying and exploiting a lack of clarity around water rights, began an aggressive effort to deprive the City of Weed of its main source of public drinking water — all so RFP could instead sell the spring water to the Crystal Geyser Roxane bottled water company. The historic spring, originating on the flanks of nearby Mt. Shasta, has provided the community with high-quality drinking water for the entirety of its 110-year history under an agreement with RFP’s predecessor International Paper.

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Portugal’s Wildfires A Result Of Timber Industry

By the Campaign to Stop Genetically-Engineered Trees. Wildfires in Portugal have been called “the worst such disaster in recent history.” Dozens of people burnt to death in their cars while trying to escape the inferno.

But this horrific tragedy was human-made. One-quarter of Portugal’s forested landscape (more than 812,000 hectares or 2 million acres) has been replaced by non-native eucalyptus plantations. On top of that are expansive pine plantations.

Oliver Munnion, Co-Director of Biofuelwatch, lives in Portugal’s wildfire zone. “We spent last night in a local school after some 30 villages were evacuated in our area. News reports say that a quarter of the municipality has burned. We’ve been lucky so far and still have our home, but many others have lost so much.

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