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Protesters allowed to ‘witness’ Walbran logging

By Stefania Seccia

A forest campaigner stands at the base of a giant old-growth red cedar tree in the central Walbran forest on Vancouver Island.
TJ Watt, submitted

A forest campaigner stands at the base of a giant old-growth red cedar tree in the central Walbran forest on Vancouver Island. TJ Watt, submitted

The Wilderness Committee was able to narrow an injunction down in court to allow protesters to continue to “witness” tree cutting in the Walbran Valley.

Joe Foy, the committee’s national campaign director, said the injunction sought to prevent protesters from interfering with the company’s logging operations on Vancouver Island.

“We felt that the original court order made activities which are normally lawful unlawful,” he said. “It would prevent members of the Wilderness Committee, and the general public, from being able to go and bear witness.”

Foy said committee members were taking photos, videos and “building up the public’s knowledge that Teal-Jones is in there cutting down some amazing old-growth forests.”

The Surrey-based Teal-Jones Group has been allowed to log and build roads into the central Walbran forest and the Edinburgh Mountain forest. In turn, it will sell the pulp, paper and solid wood products from the harvested trees.

Although logging has commenced, Foy said the company has yet to enter into the area environmentalists are most concerned about — Castle Grove.

Protesters are calling the company to refrain from an area adjacent to Castle Grove and about the size of Stanley Park.

“We’re not preventing its workers from working, and we’re not advocating that workers not be able to work or get wood for the lumber mills,” he said.