Fairy Creek an important step for old growth protection, say NDP MLAs Routley, Walker, and Malcolmson

NANAIMO – 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.

“Protecting Fairy Creek at the direction of the local First Nations is an incredible development while we work every day to transform the way our province manages forestry,” said Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan. “In the long-term, this shift to a better system will help protect local livelihoods and the environment while prioritizing reconciliation all over the province.”

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.

“I have heard from people in my community who want their kids and grandkids to enjoy the beauty of B.C.’s ancient forests,” said Adam Walker, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. “Our government’s decision to protect old growth in Fairy Creek is a vital step in that direction and as we move to a sustainable forestry management system, we will continue to follow the lead of local Indigenous communities.”

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.

“Deferring old growth logging at the Fairy Creek Watershed and setting aside another 2000 hectares of ancient forest aligns with the voices of many people in Nanaimo,” said Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo. “By making this decision at the request of the Pacheedaht, Huu-ay-aht, and Ditidaht First Nations, our government continues to demonstrate our commitment to reconciliation and environmental protection. There is much more to do and more positive announcements are on the way.”

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