Protesters join province-wide rally for protection of old-growth forests

About 20 demonstrators met with Powell-River Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons near his office in Davis Bay on June 6, joining a province-wide protest to protect old-growth forests.

The group gathered at the Davis Bay Pier at noon as part of a day of action organized by Sierra Club BC. Simons fielded several questions, including one by Shirley Samples, a local organizer, who asked about land use planning on the Coast as it relates to logging block A93884, located in the Clack Creek area.

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The area was auctioned and cutting rights were awarded to Black Mount Logging in May, but the area could be subject to a land use plan, a process which is underway between shíshálh Nation and the province.

“What can we do?” asked Samples, to which Simons replied that given the parties involved, there is “a lot more at stake,” and that people should “continue to talk to me about it and I’ll continue to relay your concerns.”

Environmental group Elphinstone Logging Focus has petitioned for a judicial review of the auction, and BC Timber Sales has filed a response.

The Sunshine Coast was not the only site of protests.

Seventeen MLA and government offices were targeted by demonstrators calling on the B.C. government to “take immediate steps to save the few remaining intact areas of old-growth forest on Vancouver Island and endangered old-growth forests across the province,” according to a release by Sierra Club BC

Other protest sites included Campbell River, Courtenay-Comox, Parksville, Nanaimo, Langford, Sidney, Duncan, Nelson, Oliver, Prince George, Langley, Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria.

– With files from Sean Eckford

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