RCMP breaches Fairy Creek blockade; Indigenous land defender calls Premier John Horgan a "punk"

Under a deal with the B.C. government, the Pacheedaht First Nation receives a portion of the stumpage revenues

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      A group of environmental activists has claimed that 2,000-year-old yellow cedar trees are at "immediate risk" on southern Vancouver Island.

      The Rainforest Flying Squad included this in a statement after the RCMP "breached a key Fairy Creek blockade at Waterfall Creek".

      The Mounties are enforcing a B.C. Supreme Court injunction obtained by Teal-Jones Group, which has a provincial licence to log in the area.

      "A grader is moving up the road at this moment," the Rainforest Flying Squad said. "Teal Jones is attempting to complete the road over the ridge into the Fairy Creek headwaters, where the largest 2,000-year-old cedars stand. This is the road-building that was stopped last August 10, when Rainforest Flying Squad built the first blockade."

      Stand.earth international program director Tzeporah Berman called on Premier John Horgan to "act now to put in place a stop-work order so that these issues can be resolved before these giants are gone forever".

      Her organization has been calling on the province to defer logging in 1.3-million hectares of "at-risk old growth in British Columbia".

      According to the Wilderness Committee, the province increased the area of old-growth cutblocks by more than 40 percent since the Old Growth Strategic Review panel submitted its report last year.

      The Pacheedaht First Nation on western Vancouver Island has a revenue-sharing agreement with the province and supports the logging plan by Teal-Jones.

      Under the deal with the province, the First Nation receives a percentage of stumpage revenues. It also operates two sawmills.

      But other Indigenous people strongly oppose logging in the Fairy Creek watershed, which is in Horgan's constituency of Langford–Juan de Fuca.

      Among them is Kati George-Jim, also known as xʷ is xʷ čaa, a member of the T'Sou-ke First Nation on southern Vancouver Island. In a recent message on social media, she called Horgan a "punk".

      "John Horgan has not grown up out of being a white boy who has no clue about what it means to interact with Indigenous power and Indigenous sovereignty," George-Jim said in the tweet above.

      George-Jim is among those who've been arrested recently for opposing the logging of old-growth forests.