A Fairy Creek Logging blockade timeline: The beginnings

Man sitting in the forest, looking up at giant old growth tree
Rainforest Flying Squad has been on the ground at Fairy Creek since the start of the blockade. Photo courtesy of the Rainforest Flying Squad April 4 press release.
Roy Hales - CKTZ - Cortes IslandBC | 14-07-2021

By Roy L Hales

Using interviews, video footage and written accounts, CKTZ News drew up a chronology for the Fairy Creek logging blockade from its beginnings to the current stand-off.

The environmental protest to protect old growth forests started nearly a year ago on Vancouver Island.

“Vancouver was once covered in trees that had the girth of a good third of my house. Those forests are gone,” Rainforest Flying Squad spokesperson Carol Tootle told CKTZ News.

She and about 30 activists from Victoria assembled at Fairy Creek on Aug. 9, 2020, after being informed it was the last intact watershed on Vancouver Island.

The activits informed the Pacheedaht First Nation before putting up the first logging blockade.

“It’s about stopping the logging in the tree farm license that Teal Jones owns and is licensed to log that area. They are currently taking legal action to stop us from protecting the old growth that they want to destroy,” explained Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones, in a video.

He spoke of the ancient forests like Fairy Creek as holy places, where his people used to go for prayer and meditation.

The day that video was released, the logging company Teal Jones obtained an injunction requiring the protestors to step aside at Fairy Creek.

A indian elder. standing on a hilltop, lifts his hands to the sky

Elder Bill Jones.  Photo courtesy of a Rainforest Flying Squad press release.

Asking the protesters to leave

On April 12, alleged Hereditary Chief Frank Queesto Jones and Chief Coun. Jeff Jones of the Pacheedaht First Nation issued a joint press release asking the protesters to leave.

“We do not welcome or support unsolicited involvement or interference by others in our territory, including third-party activism.," the stated. "Pacheedaht needs to be left in peace to engage in our community-led stewardship planning process, so that we can determine our own way forward as a strong and independent Nation.”

The hereditary chief’s involvement was significant, as the chief counsellor’s legal authority is limited to the reserve.

“Frank Jones claiming himself as a Heredity Chief is false. He is not eligible to make the claim for the Jones family line, and is not informed by the hereditary system amongst our peoples. In fact, the Jones family is not originally from the territory, and have no chief rights to the San Juan valley," Elder Jones responded.

He said the Peter(s) family are the governing authority responsible for this valley and 18-year-old Victor Peter, who wants to preserve the forests, is the Hereditary Chief of the Pacheedaht Nation.”

Victor Peter confirmed this.

Map of the Fairy Creek logging blickades

All five defender camps are outside of the Old Growth Deferral Area at Fairy Creek – Map courtesy Wilderness Committee(Read More)

(Read more)

Links of Interest