On Saturday, April 10, Fridays For Future West-Kootenay, Extinction Rebellion Nelson, and over 50 local residents from Castlegar, Grand Forks, Nelson, and the Slocan Valley marched outside the office of the MLA for Kootenay West and Minister of Forests, Katrine Conroy.
Organizers say the COVID-19-conscious, physically-distanced demonstration was held in solidarity with a growing movement of settler and Indigenous blockaders on Southern Vancouver Island who are fighting hard to save and preserve the Fairy Creek Watershed from being clear-cut.
Demonstrators organized in small distanced groups before marching downtown.
A brief “die-in” was also held on 10th Avenue, with participants “symbolizing ancient forests by falling over and rising again determined to save the last vestiges of old growth in B.C.”
Miguel Pastor, a grade 11 student, and organizer with the youth-led group Fridays for Future West Kootenay, said, “We live in one of the most important times in history, it is our duty to do what we can to save these trees that have been growing for thousands of years.”
Fairy Creek is the last intact old growth valley on Vancouver island south of Clayaoquot Sound.
The demonstrators are calling on Conroy to keep a campaign promise to honour the 14 recommendations of the Old Growth Strategic Review Panel within six months of receiving the report. Seven months have passed since the report was issued.