Fairy Creek an important step for old growth protection, say NDP MLAs Rob Fleming and Lana Popham

VICTORIA – On Wednesday, Premier John Horgan and Minister Katrine Conroy announced the BC NDP government will honour the request by the Pacheedaht, Huu-ay-aht and Ditidaht First Nations to defer old growth logging in Fairy Creek Watershed and Central Walbran Valley.

“Environmental protection and reconciliation must go hand in hand,” said Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake. “In partnership with First Nations, we are committed to protecting these ancient and unique ecosystems for generations to come.”

On Monday June 7, the three First Nations issued the Hišuk ma c̕awak Declaration, taking back decision-making responsibilities over their traditional territories while also asking the province to defer old growth logging in 2,000 hectares of old growth forest.

This deferral adds to nearly 200,000 hectares of old growth the BC NDP government has already protected, including in Clayoquot Sound and the Skagit “Donut Hole” in Manning Park. These areas had been left vulnerable by the BC Liberals. This is in addition to the 10 million hectares of old growth already under protection or uneconomical to harvest.

Fleming said all First Nations have the inherent right of self-determination and are uniquely positioned to be stewards of their territories.

“The protection of Fairy Creek adds to the thousands of hectares of old growth forests our government has recently protected but we know there is much more to do,” said Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich-South. “Further old growth protections are coming this summer, building on our strong environmental stewardship to support a sustainable future while advancing reconciliation.”

Learn more: https://news.gov.bc.ca/24654