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What is the Real Story at Fairy Creek?

Updated: Nov 19, 2021

Ben Barclay aka Yellow Cedar

At first, I thought I was fighting to save rubber trees,

then I thought I was fighting to save the Amazon rain forest.

Now I realize I am fighting for humanity.”

Brazilian rubber tapper and environmentalist,

Chico Mendes.

In September 2021, Teal-Jones Group cut this ancient giant near Fairy Creek, even though 92% of BC residents said it was worth more standing.

Since May 2021, myself and over 1,200 forest defenders have committed civil disobedience to get the NDP government to honour their election promise to protect the ancient rainforest. The RCMP met our peaceful, non-violent resistance with SWAT teams, racial profiling, violence, and illegal “exclusion zones.” A BC Supreme Court justice set a Canadian legal precedent by not renewing the logging company’s injunction, because the police were acting “unlawfully.” [1]

What’s going on here?

BC’s forest policies are stuck in a broken paradigm of ruthless corporate resource extraction. They have caused our extreme wildfire problem, decimated forestry jobs, and are BC’s largest source of C02 emissions [2]. Media is twisting the narrative into “Jobs vs. The Environment.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The real story at Fairy Creek is a survival fight.

Our world is on fire. 70% of the oysters along the Sunshine Coast, BC cooked in their shells the summer of 2021. 25 species will go extinct today. We haven’t seen this extinction rate since a meteorite took out the dinosaurs. What citizens are trying to do at Fairy Creek is take our planet back.

Photo: Sippakorn Yamkasikorn, Pixabay

This grass-roots extinction rebellion is facing down two huge issues: global heating and biodiversity loss. Healthy forests are a key solution to both. As forest ecologist Suzanne Simard says in her bestselling Finding the Mother Tree:

“This isn’t about us saving the trees, it’s about the trees saving us.”

The tiny remnants of ancient temperate rainforest left in BC are among the planet’s last sanctuaries of biodiversity. The 2019 UN Report on Biodiversity predicts that biodiversity loss will result in societal collapse in 100 years. An open letter from a big business consortium led by Unilever to the 2021 UN Convention on Biodiversity called on governments to:

Take meaningful action on the collapse of ecosystems or risk a dead planet.

The forest defenders are not criminals, they are climate and biodiversity activists, trying to get our leaders to take action. [3]

Only passing legislation can save us.

Greta Thunberg correctly calls out setting targets as “Blah Blah Blah." We need to start passing the transformative legislation that will achieve those targets.

Transformative legislation cuts through bad policy like a hot knife through butter. For example– the element lead is a persistent poison that bioaccumulates and causes permanent brain damage. To get lead out of gasoline we passed a law: “There will be no lead in gasoline.” It didn’t cost any money; it didn’t cost any jobs.

The United Nations documented that we actually made a lot of money by banning lead in gasoline.

“Ridding the world of leaded petrol has resulted in $2.4 trillion in annual benefits, 1.2 million fewer premature deaths, higher overall intelligence and 58 million fewer crimes.”

The three visionary pieces of forestry legislation we need to pass immediately are:

1. Ban cutting any old growth– switch to 2nd growth.

2. Ban clearcutting– switch to 100% biomass retention forestry.

3. Give First Nations veto power over forestry on their territories.

These three issues are interwoven like the strands of a lifeline. Here’s how they work:

Legislative Solution #1

100-year moratorium on cutting any old growth. [4]

The BC government keeps announcing “deferrals” of old growth. Deferral means: “the act of delaying”. We’re not asking them to delay cutting old growth, we’re demanding they stop.

Government inflates the amount of remaining old growth left by including coastal spruce bogs and inaccessible alpine areas, so let’s be precise. “Premium old growth” refers to the temperate rainforest with the densest biomass of any ecosystem on Earth; that scientists want to preserve, that tourists flock to, and where loggers want to cut—and are currently cutting [5]—big trees like this one near River Camp. [6]

Photo: Aaron Yukich "The Grandfather Tree"

Outside a few scattered protected areas, we only have 415,000 hectares [7] of premium old growth left. We’re cutting 52,000 hectares [8] of it every year. At that rate, we’ll have to stop when it’s all gone, in eight years.

So why not stop now?

The NDP Premier of BC [9] along with the mainstream media paint a tragic picture of logging families thrown out of work. That picture is false. The Forest Service could stop cutting old growth “on a dime” tomorrow and keep all our forest workers employed, by replacing the old growth cut blocks with the same amount of 2nd growth, from the 25 million hectares [10] of 2nd growth in our provincial forest inventory.

So why don’t we just switch?

Because old growth timber is worth at least three times as much money as 2nd growth. This infographic from the Truck Loggers Association [11] tells the whole story.

The old growth trees themselves are worth 3 times as much per cubic metre. That’s a lot. But old growth forest, because it is 3 times denser, and the wood is better quality, is worth 10 times as much per hectare!

It isn’t jobs they are after.

The RCMP are deployed at Fairy Creek to enable corporate profit.

And for all that profit, the loggers still have to strike to get fair wages, and we’re giving our old growth away for 6 cents a board foot. [12]

This log was flipped by a logging corporation to the mill for $1.50 a bd ft. By the time you bought 2x4s or shingles made from it, you paid at least $4.20.

Photo: Lorna Beecroft

But the province won’t admit they’re extirpating the last ancient temperate rainforest for the huge logging corporations that own the majority of our timber rights, so they’re saying we can’t switch to cutting 2nd growth because, get this– we’re out of trees.

We’re out of trees? In BC?

They blame this imaginary “tree shortage” on environmentalists, pine beetles and wildfires, even though pine beetles and pine trees have been co-existing in balance for 70 million years, and wildfires have cycled naturally since trees evolved. [13] We have lost 50% of our forest industry jobs in the last 20 years, which is a tragedy.

What is the truth about job losses in BC?

1. Big corporations increase profits by decreasing labour costs, through automated sawmills, and machinery like a “feller-buncher”, which grabs, cuts and strips trees. A faller friend tells me– “One feller-buncher kills six jobs.” James Steidle provides a “workers eye view” of how BC communities have been hurt by the “corporate investment” model of forestry in this article.

Feller-Buncher. Photo: Oregon Department of Forestry

2. 35% of the coastal logs we cut are sold unprocessed to China, Japan, South Korea, and the USA, which Ben Parfitt estimates cost us 3,700 local jobs. In Russia, Vladimir Putin just made raw log sales illegal.

3. We’ve been cutting too much all along. The Forest Service tell us they’ve been ensuring the “long-term sustainability of the timber supply” [14] since 1949 by carefully setting an Allowable Annual Cut (AAC). In this article, David Broadland exposes how politicians tell the Chief Forester to fudge the AAC to stem the tide of job losses from mechanisation and raw log sales. The entire Forest Service model of corporate Land Tenure, “Tree Farms”, and clearcutting is a complete mess and has to go.

Don’t get me wrong.

I only advocate cutting more 2nd growth, to cut no old growth, as a simple solution to the impasse at Fairy Creek. But I’m not talking about clearcutting the 2nd growth, I’m talking about making the paradigm shift we should have made 100 years ago, so we could have had all those jobs, all that wood, and still have all our old growth.

Here’s the real solution at Fairy Creek.

Legislative Solution #2

Ban clearcutting, and switch to “100% biomass retention” forestry.

Have a look at an aerial photo of the community forest owned by the Menominee Nation in Wisconsin. Since 1890, they’ve harvested billions of board feet of lumber, but their land still retains the the same amount of wood, and “biomass”, as when they started. Forest biomass is largely wood, but includes moss, lichen, fungal mycorrhizae, birds, fish and animals.

Here’s how it works.

Trees are constantly growing. In a forest with millions of trees, each annual ring per tree adds millions of board feet of lumber per forest.

Every year, the Menominee measure that growth over the whole watershed, and cut less.

The Menominee never cut their “principal”, only the “interest.” They cut their trees singly, and choose them carefully to maintain a full ranges of age and species. The forest canopy is only gently opened here and there, which stimulates faster growth, as more light gets in.

I call it “100% biomass retention forestry” because you can actually measure how much biomass is retained. Any forester can do it properly. Scientists can track results, and governments can’t fudge the numbers.

This is the Menominee forest from space:

Photo: Ben Barclay/Google Earth

This is Tree Farm Licence 46 (TFL-46) from space.

(Fairy Creek watershed bottom middle right).

Photo: Ben Barclay/Google Earth.

After 130 years of providing stable, safe jobs and timber, the Menominee forest is still delivering all the ecosystem benefits of old growth including: carbon sequestration, oxygen production, topsoil creation, watershed health, and human benefits like tourism and wildfire mitigation.

We miss out on all these benefits in BC, because our government and industry see forests as “fibre”.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, has this suggestion:

“What governments and corporations need to do is to view old growth forests not as commercialized products to be harvested and sold, but as the bedrock foundations of a healthy, biodiverse environment that First Nations have been stewards over since time immemorial.”

The Menominee agree. They declared their river to have the rights of a person, because they see their forest as a sacred trust, to be passed on to future generations.

Photo: Menominee Forest Keepers

At the stroke of a pen, banning clearcutting would transform our relationship with forest ecosystems from exploitive to protective.

The Menominee have proven it for us by operating the ultimate “community forest.” They own their own sawmills, control their own jobs, and sell their value-added wood products at wholesale and retail.

If we retained ownership of our trees until after they left the mill and jumped from 6 cents a board foot to $1.50, we’d have the money to transform our “loggers” into “foresters”, and they would have the greenest jobs on the planet– maintaining our biodiversity and carbon sequestration treasury.

We even have a local proof of concept in BC. Over his lifetime, Merv Wilkinson took a million board feet off just 56 hectares at Wildwood, which still has a beautiful forest on it. He did it to prove his point that: “You don’t have to kill the world to have timber.”

Woodworkers will look at this photo and notice the quality of the wood. Biologists will note the biodiversity. Economists will see truly sustainable income. Loggers could envision a safe, interesting job that will still be there for their children.

At Wildwood, Merv Wilkinson preserved size, age and species ranges of trees in each locality. Photo: Ben Barclay.

And now, Dr Simard is upgrading Merv’s homespun science with her Mother Tree Project. She’s doing meticulous research on how to heal clearcuts back into forests.

Here’s another benefit we’d get from practicing 100% biomass retention forestry.

Mature forests forests don't support extreme wildfires.

I live in an ancient forest. During the heat dome, the air under the canopy didn’t rise above 26 degrees. When lightning struck one mile from my cabin, no fire started. The town of Lytton BC wasn’t so lucky. It recorded Canada’s highest ever temperature this summer, and burned to the ground.

A century of clearcutting has turned our province into a tinderbox.

Photo: Sean O’Rourke/Conservation North

Clearcutting has desiccated the forest ecosystems that regulate moisture on our planet so badly even the aquifers are drying up. Clearcutting creates wastelands of dry, woody waste, that take decades to grow into jammed plantations of monoculture conifers. These dried-out slash piles and sickly plantations are now described as “fuel.”

In BC, the logging industry emits 4-8 million tonnes of C02 burning slash piles that their wasteful clearcutting practices produce. Photo: T.J. Watt/Wilderness Committee

Logging companies are catastrophe profiteering through so-called “fuel treatment” contracts, subsidised by taxpayers through Orwellian “Forest Enhancement Funds”, to remove the very same fire hazards created by their clearcutting and monoculture replanting. Forest scientist Chad Hanson exposes these practices by saying:

“Make no mistake: It is all just logging."

You can read the real solutions to Firesmarting our communities in his new book Smokescreen: Debunking Wildfire Myths to Save Our Climate.

Photo: BC Wildfire Services. Fire racing across a dried out clearcut.

But clearcutting doesn’t just cost us jobs, wildfires, and biodiversity loss.

Clearcutting is a devastating cause of global warming.

Clearcutting in BC is our biggest single source of C02 emissions. This photo tells you why. The forest in the background is breathing in carbon dioxide, giving off oxygen, and sequestering carbon.

The clearcut in the foreground is not.

Photo: T.J. Watt/Wilderness Committee. This is not forestry, it is deforestation.

When we clearcut, we are not “practicing forestry,” we are causing deforestation.

At COP26, countries signed on to “ending deforestation.” The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines deforestation as a “change of land use” from forest to agriculture or urbanisation. They call changing the land use from forest to plantationland degradation”– a “reduction of biological productivity or ecological integrity,” but they exempt what they call “sustainable forestry” from deforestation.

But they don’t define “sustainable”.

Unfortunately, the IPCC scientists have yet to dig down and assess clearcutting, or set any criteria for the point at which land degradation becomes unsustainable. For example, 2nd growth only contains 30% the biomass of old growth. [15] What percentage is the threshold?

This lack of precision is the loophole BC drives its logging trucks through.

Defining “sustainable forestry” as “100% biomass retention forestry” would close that loophole, and a group of citizens have retained environmental law firm EcoJustice to begin to fight this battle with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). You can support their lawsuit here.

Whether you call it “forest ecosystem degradation,” or “deforestation,” clearcutting is certainly not “forestry.”

Forests are incredibly complex ecosystems. Clearcutting kills 95% of the forest biomass– all the mosses and lichens, the mycorrhizae the trees need to flourish, and literally trillions of tiny creatures per hectare. Dr Simard demonstrated this to forest defenders at Fairy Creek, by showing how clearcutting had reduced topsoil depth by 70%.

As forest scientist Chris Maser showed in his book Forest Primeval, it takes 500 to 1,000 years to grow a true forest back from major disruption. If you cut a plantation every 40-80 years, the original forest is gone forever.

Photo: T.J. Watt/Wilderness Committee

Replacing a 1,000 year old yellow cedar with 3 tiny seedlings doesn’t magically replace an ancient forest.

I planted 300,000 trees in clearcuts in the 1980s, which taught me how destructive the Canadian forestry policy is. All those millions of trees we are planting are not "reforestation." Industrial tree planting is just a procedural step in the degradation of a healthy forest into an unhealthy plantation. People don't think about the time involved when replacing a lost eco-system.

Industry and government ignore the fact that while we’re waiting for all that biomass to “grow back”, the ghosts of the clearcut trees don’t give off any oxygen for us to breathe, and they don’t sequester any carbon. The Ministry doesn’t count the loss, but the Sierra Club took a very conservative run at the calculations in this study.

Here in BC, we clearcut an area the size of the Lower Mainland annually. [16]

Clearcutting Practice [17] and Net C02 emissions caused [18]

+ The cumulative effect of lost annual carbon sequestration caused by periodic biomass removal: 40 million tonnes. [19]

+ Industrial slash burning (mysteriously reported as 8 then reduced to: 4 million tonnes.

+ Harvesting itself: building roads, extraction, trucks etc: 42 million tonnes.

+ BC’s annual wildfire C02 emissions have skyrocketed from historical baseline averages around 10 million tonnes: 190 million tonnes.

= Net C02 emissions clearcutting costs us every year: 276 million tonnes.

In contrast, the Province is stating that we only emit 67 million tonnes by burning fossil fuels!

If we stopped clearcutting, our timber forest lands would absorb more C02 than we emit.

We’d win on biodiversity too. Scientists estimate that to reverse global biodiversity loss, we need to return 50% of our total land area to wilderness. Healing our ravaged clearcuts back into mature contiguous forests would get us to that 50% wilderness threshold, and reverse the habitat loss causing the extinction of deep snow mountain caribou.

Photo: Death by 1000

Legislation banning clearcutting would turn BC into a big “multi-use woodlot with grizzly bears”, and draw tourists from all over the world.

What Fairy Creek forest defenders are offering society:

A no-cost legislative solution to help us:

• Meet or exceed our C02 reduction targets.

• Preserve our last rainforest biodiversity sanctuaries.

• Meet our 50% wilderness biodiversity goal.

More forest income, more forestry jobs, less fire risk. What was our government’s response? Pepper spray and helicopters.

The cops grabbed me, sprayed pepper spray into my mouth and eyes for one minute. Then they punched me hard. Then they spread my legs and sprayed pepper spray into my genital area.

Photo: Mariko Margetson

In England, the British Home Secretary sat down with leaders from UK Extinction Rebellion to find a constructive path for citizens to practice civil disobedience. In BC, NDP MLAs heckled Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau when she tabled a petition with 150,000 signatures on it, including Greta Thunberg’s.

The RCMP brutality at Fairy Creek will eventually cost taxpayers more than the provincial revenue from TFL-46, and is becoming the most expensive police action in Canada’s history.

From the Riel Rebellion, to the Wet’suwet’en pipeline protests, all of Canada’s record breaking military/policing actions have been against First Nations, because we built our country on resource extraction, and all the resources are on Indigenous territories.

We clear cut their people, to clear cut their trees.

Our resource extraction ideology leaves a trail of deforestation, decimated salmon runs [20], heavy metal poisoning [21], and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). The RCMP spends more money arresting people to facilitate pipeline construction and cutting old growth, than trying to find the estimated 1,000 missing Indigenous women and girls across Canada.[22]

For most Canadians, the bodies of the children buried under the residential schools are a sad tragedy “from our colonial past”. For me, this summer, the greatest learning at Fairy Creek is how much reconciliation we need to do. Each other forest defender I have met has their own approach to saving forests, but we are unanimous that Reconciliation is the heart of our purpose.

Indigenous forest defender preparing red dress ceremony in a clearcut at Ada-itsx, (Fairy Creek). Photo: Ben Barclay.

Legislative Solution #3

True Reconciliation- “free, prior and informed consent”.

Forest defenders demand a binding law that gives First Nations citizens veto power over resource extraction.

Veto power doesn’t mean total control, it means that if the majority of the population of a First Nation doesn’t like a proposal, it doesn’t happen. Veto power is the heart of consensus decision making. Just one sentence of legislation granting veto power would level the playing field overnight.

Local communities should have the same right of refusal for corporate resource extraction.

Indigenous leader Rainbow Eyes arrested numerous times at Fairy Creek. [23]

Veto power would operationalise BC’s new Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (DRIPA) legislation, which requires resource extraction to take place only if First Nations are offered “free, prior, and informed consent.”

Currently, when corporations buy a Tree Farm Licence under the Tenure system, First Nations are not a signatory to the agreement, so they get no income, and have no veto power. Instead of free and prior consent, First Nations are offered coercion, in the form of a side deal– a contract that binds them to:

“Not support or participate in any acts that frustrate, delay, or interfere with provincially authorized forest activities.”

Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones calls it a “predatory colonial contract.” In this article, David Broadland calls it “a handful of glass beads to buy their silence.” How many glass beads?

The timber coming out of TFL-46 at Fairy Creek will generate $20 million in provincial income. The logging corporation will get $135 million at the mill [24]. Consumers will cough up over $400 million for it at lumberyards.

The three-year hush money contract, for the deforestation of their homeland, is for just $347,388.

If the Pacheedaht Council let anyone “delay forest activities”, they have to pay the money back, hence the Council’s letter asking forest defenders not to protest the logging.

Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones does not give his consent to have his homeland destroyed for corporate profit, but he is offering reconciliation, through standing with him to protect and respect forests.

Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones. Photo: The Rainforest Flying Squad.

I first met Bill through his exhortation to “Get out to the woods,” in which he invited people of all ages, genders, races, cultures and classes to walk together in order to heal the wounds of colonialism and environmental destruction.

When he said—“My life has just the same value as a tree’s life,”

I said to myself—“I love this man”.

He does that to people.

This fall, Bill organised healing circles led by Indigenous Matriarchs offering purification and communication rituals as ancient as the forest around us. We were cleansed with sweetgrass and cedar by a hereditary chief, who graced us with his gentle nature, and quiet authority. Together, Indigenous and non-Indigenous worked together to find a peaceful way forward.

Reconciliation, one heart at a time.

I can bear witness that the Forest Defenders are acting with deeper non-violence than any other social movement I’ve either participated in, or studied, since Gandhi led the Salt March to the Sea. We are living satyagraha [25], inspired by Bill Jones.

I think he deserves a Nobel Peace prize, not having his homeland invaded by the RCMP.

Elder Bill Jones at the BC Legislature first anniversary of Fairy Creek forest defence, August 9th, 2021. Photo: Ben Barclay.

“No, it’s just that people my age, we don’t feel we can leave until our children stop hanging themselves.

Bill is a residential school survivor. All the other occupants of his dormitory were dead by the time he was 24 years old. At that time, his grandfather told him something that he shares with us now.

“You don’t go up to the forest to cut it down, you go up to ask the great mother what she wants you to do.”

The real story at Fairy Creek is not about saving a valley. The forest defenders are trying and save their planet, and all the life on it. We are not criminals, we are shift disturbers, for a paradigm shift that is crucial for human survival.

1. Ban cutting any old growth– switch to 2nd growth.

2. Ban clearcutting- switch to 100% biomass retention forestry.

3. Give First Nations veto power over resource extraction on their territories.

We are not coming out of the trees until we have this transformative legislation passed.

Every day, 600 hectares of trees are deforested in BC. That’s the city of Nanaimo BC every two weeks. 162 hectares of premium old growth every day.

We need that legislation now, all three strands. Our lifeline.

We are all indigenous to this little blue ball, floating in space. Down at Fairy Creek, Ada-itsx, forest defenders are living by the Nuu-Chah-Nulth expression: “Hishuk ish tsawalk”— we are one, and all interconnected.

Will you join us?

“Wandering and wondering in the sacred valley of Ada-itsx.” Photo: Ben Barclay.

Please visit this website if you want to help.


Ben Barclay gratefully acknowledges the help of Dr Suzanne Simard, and many BC Foresters, with developing the scientific criteria for the three legislative ideas in this article.



[1] Read more about this here. [2] This data is cited and explained in this article, which I’ve seeded with numerous links to alternative sources of information beyond mainstream media. Please click on them and check them out.

[3] Many “forest defenders” find the term “protester” to be a pejorative media term, and prefer to be called “forest defenders”. Although the pop-up group Rainforest Flying Squad initiated civil disobedience and blockades at Fairy Creek in August 2020, I am using the term “forest defender” in this article in a wider context, to refer to every person trying to help out at Fairy Creek, from near and far. Ultimately we are members of a global movement, with its roots deep in history.

[4] This would be cutting any old growth for timber. Exceptions would be made for single trees harvested by First Nations for cultural purposes like canoes, community centres, and poles.

[5] Editor's Note: Teal Jones has been logging of the pristine old growth forest (that is home to the extremely rare Speckled Belly Lichen that, besides other things, stores the carbon caused by global warming along with the endangered Marbled Murrelet) around Heli-Camp has been happening since before the logging corporation briefly lost their Injunction on September 29th, 2021 and, as soon as they won their appeal, the loggers resumed. Joshua Wright of the RFS told Vigilance that, because of the possibility that this area will be one of the few protected by the possible 2-year deferral that may be implemented by November 30th at the earliest, Teal Jones has increased activity there even, due to the storms, putting their employees in danger in order to get all of the timber as soon as possible.

[6] We are not coming out of the trees until we have this transformative legislation passed.

While the arrests continue, and the court cases drag on, big trees and priceless biodiversity at Fairy Creek Ada-Itsx are falling every single day. Every day, 600 hectares of trees are deforested in BC. That’s Nanaimo every two weeks. 162 hectares of premium old growth every day.

We need that legislation now, all three strands. Our lifeline.

[7] This Western Wilderness Committee article is an excellent explanation and primer on what “old growth” refers to, and clears up much confusion around “What percentage of old growth is left?”. I have chosen to ignore all the percentages, and simply define what I mean by premium old growth, (dense biomass, big trees), and note the exact number of hectares of that left. Quoting the article: “Of the most productive old-growth forests with the biggest trees, only 415,000 hectares remain.” Note that this means “remain outside of permanently protected areas like Carmanah”, ie: remainto be logged. The number is pretty accurate, as it was created by corporations looking for their profit centres. Government maps often refer to this as Highly Productive Old Growth, and Productive Old Growth. [8] Source for approximately 193,000 hectares logged a year in BC. Source for old growth as 27% of the Allowable Annual Cut (AAC). 27% of 193,000 total is 52,000 old growth. When comparing statistics, please be careful. For instance, 50% of the coastal harvest is old growth. I’m referring to BC total.

[9] Editor's Note: due to his chronic (and always devastating) illness announced on November 4th, Vigilance has agreed, at the request of the writer, to not publish the name of the current premier. However, the magazine believes that, regardless of illness, especially government officials need to be called out and made accountable for their actions (or lack thereof) regardless of illness. [10] Source on page 14, of this inventory document from the BC government. Note that this is the crown land base, and there are other lands being harvested. [11] Truck Loggers Association website. [12] A “board foot” is the standard measurement of the lumber wholesale industry, measuring 12” x 12” x 1”. These figures are adapted from “cubic metres”, which the government uses to measure timber harvesting.

[13] You can read more about this spin doctoring in Andrew Rowell’s Green Backlash: Global Subversion of the Environmental Movement.

[14] One of many sources.

[15] This statistic is from the Truck Loggers Infographic on page 3, in legislation 1 section.

[16] The Lower Mainland refers to the city of Vancouver BC and the surrounding urban area with the size of 5,067 km2.

[17] The first three are found in this Sierra Club study, the fourth is in the link provided. [18] These are total Net emissions, because they include direct emissions like burning slash piles, as well as lack of sequestration caused by trees not being there. [19] The Sierra Club study in endnote 13 pegged this at 26.5 million tonnes using extremely conservative data from tropical rainforest. The number is surely much, much higher than 40 million tonnes. Our government should be calculating this number for us and including it in our annual BC carbon footprint. [20] David Suzuki Foundation on destruction of salmon habitat, and a current update study of salmon in the Salish Sea by Kyle Wilson. [21] The poisoning of the Grassy Narrows Band in Ontario is Canada’s most documented case. The poisoning of the Fraser River from the Mount Polley mine disaster is one of BC’s most recent examples. [22] This Tyee article explains the issues.

[23] As of August 23, 2021 "Rainbow Eyes, a spokesperson for the squad and a member of Da’naxda’xw/Awaetlala First Nation, said she is being treated like a criminal for fighting for old-growth trees. She said she has been arrested four times and cannot pass south of Nanaimo BC" (and, therefore, the province of BC made it illegal for an Indigenous person to access unceded Indigenous land).;

For the readers' interest, here is a link to a US radio show interview with Rainbow Eyes:

[24] The government doesn’t track the retail value of our timber harvest. In this article David Broadland quotes the province as saying the value of TFL 46 is $135 million lying in the truck after harvesting, before the mill. We know that the value of the wood doubles several times during processing. $400 million is an extremely conservative estimate of the street value, or retail value. For instance, if all the wood in TFL 46 was as big as that log on the truck, it would be worth $700 million at the mill, and several billion street value. TFL 46 is 50% old growth, most of it not as big as that log, but still very “premium.”

[25] “Determined but nonviolent resistance to evil.”


About the Writer:

Ben Barclay is an early arrestee at Fairy Creek (Ada-Itsx), a citizen and imbedded investigative journalist for FOCUSmagazine Victoria. He has 40 years-experience guiding social enterprise ENGO’s in helping humans develop respectful relationships with forests. He has planted 300,000 trees. He discovered the value of transformational legislation while designing and project managing the multiple award winning REEP House Project, to help Canadians achieve Net Zero in our own lives.

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Andrew Bryant
Andrew Bryant
Nov 10, 2021

This is a beautifully-written and well-documented piece. Well done - and thank you! Andrew Bryant, Ph.D, RPBio

Nov 10, 2021
Replying to

Thank you for your comment, Andrew. We at Vigilance are glad that you enjoyed Ben's piece.


Nov 10, 2021

Step 4. Reduce your paper and/or wood use. At McDonalds? Just say no to those paper napkins. Reduce demand is something we all can do.

Nov 10, 2021
Replying to

Yes! We all need to participate in the transition to a sustainable way of being in the world! Thanks for your comment :)

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