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

Township looks at ‘next possible steps’ to re-open Walnut Grove pool to competition

Review is only an update, not ‘prescriptive,’ mayor Froese cautioned

Falling tree claims life in Langley

Victim was reportedly out for a walk on a rural road

Fort Langley artists extend traditional season on virtual gallery

Group’s latest exhibition is a seasonally themed show called Autumn Bounty

Langley wildlife centre desperate for caregivers

Critter Care is in need of co-op students as COVID curtails number of international interns

LETTER: Election nothing more than a ‘farce’ called by opportunists

A Langley man is critical of being sent to the polls with little chance to know his candidates

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Most Read