Worth More Standing
When you think of British Columbia, you probably have old forests with giant trees in mind. That’s how it was before white settlers came here and decided to live here. The crimes they committed against the indigenous population are horrible. People had lived here for thousands of years in peace and with nature. They only took what they needed. How much better the world would be if colonialism never happened and more people lived that way.
One of the many negative effects: There’s not much of the fascinating Old-growth forest left on Vancouver Island today. It could be logged to extinction anytime, but it can also still be saved – that’s what we would love to see.
Since last summer, hundreds of courageous people have camped in the remote forests to stop logging companies from taking down the last intact watershed with majestic trees on the south island – Fairy Creek. It’s not far from us. The government of BC had promised to save those Old-Growth forests before the last election, but they broke their promise. Once again, colonialism played a role: The forest is on unceded territory, which means, that it belongs to the indigenous people in the area. For centuries, the first nations governed themselves with hereditary chiefs, who were acting as stewards for the land.
Nowadays, first nations are still marginalized and lack opportunities to make a living. Often they can only choose between no income or income from logging. The government could step in and provide solutions. They don’t. It’s all about money. Scientists urge the government to immediately stop logging these ancient forests. They say they will – in 2023. There will be nothing left.
Meanwhile, the 1000+ year old trees are falling. They started to grow before European settlers arrived here. This is a unique heritage, and it will be lost forever, if these trees are logged. A unique eco-system that exists nowhere else in the world is threatened. 90 per cent of BCs population want to protect old-growth forests. It doesn’t change anything yet. But the protest movement gains more and more momentum. The goal: The end of old-growth logging and sustainable logging practices in the future.
We as Europeans have never seen those ancient forests before. They are breathtaking. For us and many people, it’s unbelievable that they could fall. This was a big issue for us during the last few months: We want to support the movement and the campers, many of whom are indigenous people.
Therefore, we went to several rallys to protect Old-Growth forests, – every Saturday in Sooke and also in Victoria. We also went to the camps several times and together with 2000 other people tried to stop the police from arresting the campers. Until today, the police raids the camps daily. The politicians are making hollow promises. And the protests continue.