A blockade has been erected about 120 kilometres north of Revelstoke on Bigmouth Forest Service Road, by a group called Old Growth Revylution who are protesting the logging of old-growth forests in the area.
According to Dudley Coulter, director of communications for Splatsin, Splatsin Kukpi7 (Chief) Wayne Christian will be attending the blockade on July 11 around 1 p.m. Those attending are asked to read Revylution’s code of conduct at this link.
“We will be conducting a ceremony to protect the old-growth forest, but also to protect the public who have decided to block access to critical old-growth habitat for our relatives the caribou,” said Christian.
“B.C., specifically BC Timber Sales (BCTS), need to cease all operations in this area. We have communicated this to BCTS officials on numerous occasions.”
Coulter said harvesting of old-growth forests in this area contradicts provincial commitments, as well as recommendations by caribou experts for the protection of critical habitat.
It is estimated that less than 230 southern mountain caribou remain in Secwépemc territory, he added.
Christian said historically, southern mountain caribou were found throughout Secwépemc territory and harvested by Splatsin for countless generations.
“Caribou provided us with sustenance, clothing, tools, utensils, snowshoes and other necessities important to our physical and cultural survival,” he said.
Splatsin has a sacred obligation as caretakers and stewards of the area, and has refrained from hunting southern mountain caribou for generations due to decreasing population levels and diminishing habitat, said Christian.
Splatsin supports a reduction of the annual allowable cut in its current format, and also supports immediate action to halt logging activities in remaining old-growth interior temperate forests.
Splatsin members and leadership urge others to add their voice by joining the blockade and writing to Minister Katrine Conroy to stop old-growth logging.