A monumental old-growth yellow cedar tree in the at-risk headwaters of Fairy Creek measuring 9.5ft in diameter, making it the 9th-widest known yellow cedar according to the BC Big Tree Registry. Photo courtesy, T J Watt

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Government and company officials continue to avoid comment as an environmental blockade near Port Renfrew reached its fifth day Friday.

Attempts by Black Press media to speak to representatives of logging company Teal Jones and area MLA and Premier John Horgan went unreturned, as protesters continued with a blockade launched Monday to stop Teal Jones Group from punching road access into the Fairy Creek watershed.

READ MORE: Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

Conservationists said they have documented a old yellow cedar tree measuring 9.5 feet in diameter in the general area. They said the tree is wider than the ninth-widest yellow cedar in Canada, as recorded in BC Big Tree Registry.

TJ Watt, a conservationist with Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA) measured record-sized ancient yellow cedars at the headwaters of Fairy Creek which the protesters say is the last unlogged old-growth valley near Port Renfrew on southern Vancouver Island.

“Yellow cedars are the oldest living organisms in the country,” said Watt and added, “these trees are the last of the ancient giants.”

Although AFA conservationists were able to measure only a dozen or more of these giant trees over the weekend, Watt said that there may be much larger undocumented big trees in the valley. The group also located a number of exceptionally large western hemlocks as well.

“Unfortunately there are no rules in place to preserve big trees. The government continues to delay and stall policy to protect these trees and in the meantime logging companies cut and raze them,” said Watt

Calling it a chance encounter, Watt said that no one would have known these record sized trees existed at this place if the logging company had gotten to it first.

Teal-Jones Group recently began building roads along the ridgeline above Fairy Creek, about four kilometres up from the popular Fairy Lake recreation spot. The company also has approved permits to build roads extending down into the headwaters and on the ridgeline on the opposite side of the upper valley.

While there are currently no pending or approved cutblock applications at this time, protesters worry boundary tape found within the valley headwaters indicates that it could be part of their future plans.

These giant yellow cedars add weight to the Fairy Creek blockade and gives protesters even more of a reason to stand firm. “This is an exceptional area of biodiversity,” said Watt.

Watt is worried that building these roads opens the door to future fragmentation of Fairy Creek.

Dr.Saul Arbess, a spokesperson for the Fairy Creek protesters told Black Press Thursday that they have not received any response from either the provincial authorities nor Teal Jones.

Arbess suspects Teal Jones Group might get a court injunction. But the protesters are still holding strong and maintaining the blockade, he said.

READ MORE: Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Environmentforestry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Boulders near Harrison vandalized with derogatory word

Vandalism likely occured between Sunday evening and Tuesday evening

First rainstorm of the season pelting the Lower Mainland

Batten down the hatches as heavy rains, wind, and some localized flooding possible

Irish folk supergroup Kíla set to perform on Saturday

Online concert will be available through Harrison Festival Society

Reported Kelowna Hells Angels member dies in Fraser Valley motorcycle crash

Michael “Speedy” Christiansen was found dead on Monday morning near Ruby Creek on Highway 7

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Return-It depots change beverage container deposits from 20 to 10 cents

Change will be implemented on Oct. 1, with a transition period being held until Oct. 11

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Young man assaulted, left for 12 hours until help called in Vancouver’s Strathcona Park

Vancouver police are looking to identify the victim as they investigate an assault on Monday evening

Most Read