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

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

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

A Good Samaritan helps me pull my car out of the ditch on Horse Lake Road. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Saved from the ditch by Good Samaritans

A journalist never likes making the news.

A dream catcher with 91 ties of tobacco was placed over a fire. The ties represent the 91 years St. Joseph’s Mission operated as a residential school. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Tl’etinqox women find strength at former B.C. Interior residential school site

Healing ceremony part of video project to honour legacy of residential schools

(Photo submitted)
Embrace Winter aims to make season ‘extra special’

Celebrating winter the Nordic way is coming to the South Cariboo this season.

Members of the South Cariboo Artists’ Guild featured in the Christmas market show include Leslie Ginther (from left) Carol Munro, Penny Bailey, Bobbie Crane and Susan Kruse. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Christmas Market features cozy artwork

Exhibit seeks to capture the feel of a craft fair market.

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty respirators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

Most Read