Looking outside North Grenville
by Marc Meyer
Irreplaceable tracts of coastal rainforest are falling. Many are Grandmother trees, and I would say persons in their own right.
Sadly, by the time you read this, it is as likely to be an obituary for some, as it is a plea to wake up and spread the word. That said, you choosing to make a difference WILL make a difference. There are still lives to be saved.
There are some losses that diminish us, collectively; that weigh on us personally and on our children and unborn descendants as well.
The old growth forest of Fairy Creek, south down the coast from Clayoquot Sound which some of you may remember, has roads being torn open, aimed towards her heart. Those trying to slow down the destruction are facing relentless opposition from those who are upholding the ‘laws of the land’ in order to allow tree harvesting companies to take these last, precious millenia old tree mothers. They have already taken so many.
There are, I suppose, softer terms to use than ‘destruction’. There are discussions to be had about resource use and economy, and what wood that is best suited for such and such application.
However, to my way of seeing things, one may freely consider best practice in the management of wood lots … this one exists as Tree Farm Licence 46 … BUT it is also important to recognize the difference between 1000 and 2000 year old trees, and those younger than 250 (the lower limit for Old Growth) and between a disrupted watershed and an intact one ( Fairy Creek is one of the last).
Under discussion is a specialized, somewhat pristine ecosystem on indigenous land. I believe that changes the conversation.
The defense of these sites has already begun and that also changes the conversation. Will we support the efforts of those who block attempts to build logging roads into these areas? Will we question what it means that these peacefully intervening defenders are being removed (under the questionable umbrella of law enforcement) both forcibly and unsafely?
Make no mistake either: these forest protectors are putting their lives on the line for the lives of the trees they have long stewarded and held relation to.
No one has died yet, but mistreatment is common, and a recent careless extraction of a defender came very close to ending her life. It literally could have ended either way.
There have been public pronouncements of a two year deferral but it has not stopped road building or removal of those who stand in the way. These forests and their watersheds still lack lasting protection.
Somewhere in the above is a plea, or maybe just an anguished scream in the dark to deaf ears, but think what you will, you, the reader are owed that obituary still for the ancient cedars already lost and falling still.
So all eyes on Fairy Creek, and all voices join that may, as much as one may see through tears, and speak from a broken heart.
Mama Cedar of Fairy Creek
Of the ancient forests,
You just one in five of all that stood.
Of the tallest and oldest and most connected of the deepest valleys,
Nearer one in a hundred
You are valued
There are those who come to be with you,
Hand on your bark, hearts entwined,
To be and listen and learn.
But others seek you out
With less gentle touch and sharpened saws.
There are those who would view you with respect
And stand with you as equals
And there are those who see you as lumber,
Waiting to be felled
May your time have been longer
And we have been wiser
You are missed and loved