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Rally demands immediate action of BC government to implement recommendations from Old Growth Strategic Review

The Nelson Daily Staff
By The Nelson Daily Staff
September 28th, 2023

A little rain did not dampen the spirits of demonstrators at a rally Thursday afternoon in Nelson to raise awareness against the logging of old growth forests in B.C.

The province-wide day of action, organized by Wildsight in the Kootenays, also saw rallies in Golden, Revelstoke and Radium Hot Springs.

The rallies mark the end of the three-year period during which the BC government promised to implement the 14 recommendations that came out of the Old Growth Strategic Review.

“None of those recommendations have yet been fully implemented and more than half of the old growth identified for protection in the review is still in danger of being clear cut — including stands in the Kootenays and Columbia,” Eddie Petryshen, Conservation Specialist for Wildsight said prior to the rally in Nelson.

Thursday’s rally began at Nelson City Hall Courtyard before the more than 75 protesters marched to Baker Street before briefly blocking traffic at the intersection of Baker and Ward Streets under the watchful eye of officers from the Nelson Police Department.

The marchers proceeded down Baker Street before stopping in front of the office of Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson where protesters with chainsaws — without cutting chains on the bar — used people as trees to mimic the cutting down of old growth trees.

Eddie Petryshen, Conservation Specialist for Wildsight, spoke to demonstrators at the Nelson City Hall Courtyard prior to the march down Baker Street.

Speeches followed before the rally concluded.

Wildsight said the Kootenays and Columbia contain some of the last partially-intact inland rainforest left in the world, with trees up to 2000 years old and four metres in diameter.

Known as the Inland Temperate Rainforest, these old growth stands are home to mountain caribou, grizzly bears, wolverines and many other threatened animals, plants and fungi. They also play an important role in carbon storage and sequestration, wildfire prevention and water storage and filtration.

Wildsight said the rallies, held less than a week before the BC Legislature returns to session in early October,  were geared to send MLAs a clear message that more must be done to protect old growth forests.

With the events happening less than a week before the BC Legislature returns to session in early October, demonstrators hope to send MLAs back to parliament with a clear message that more must be done to protect old growth forests.

Rallies were hosted in 17 ridings across BC, including on Vancouver Island, Campbell River, Courtenay—Comox, Esquimalt—Metchosin, Langford—Juan de Fuca, Nanaimo, Nanaimo—North Cowichan, Oak Bay—Gordon Head, Saanich South, Victoria—Beacon Hill, Victoria—Swan Lake, Kelowna, North Vancouver—Lonsdale, Peachland, Powell River—Sunshine Coast, Surrey—Whalley and Vancouver—Point Grey.

Demonstrators staged a mock cutting of old growth trees, using people as trees, outside the office of Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson.

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