First Nation tells CRD board to stay out of Fairy Creek logging issue
Published Wednesday, May 12, 2021 2:35PM PDT
VICTORIA -- A Vancouver Island First Nation is telling the Capital Regional District board to stay out of the debate over logging in the contested Fairy Creek area near Port Renfrew.
The Pacheedaht First Nation sent a notice Monday to the CRD board, urging the CRD directors to "show an appropriate level of respect to the sovereignty and wishes of our nation" and "respect our desire for self-determination."
The message was sent in response to a motion before Wednesday’s CRD board meeting, which recommends the board adopt a resolution to work with the Pacheedaht and the province to defer logging in old-growth forests on southern Vancouver Island.
Logging in the Fairy Creek area, which is within the traditional territory of the Pacheedaht, has been a hotly contested issue, with protesters blockading roads through the forest for months, despite an injunction ordering their removal.
"Pacheedaht First Nation is concerned that third-party interference on our nation’s interests and affairs, including resource stewardship, is polarizing and harming our community, and we have asked for it to cease," the Pacheedaht leadership wrote in the memo to the CRD board.
"Pacheedaht is conducting an inclusive Integrated Resource Stewardship Plan (IRSP) involving our entire community to guide the future management of our traditional territory," the nation added. "Pacheedaht does not welcome unsolicited interference or involvement from others."
The CRD resolution asks the board to endorse working with the province and the Pacheedaht to protect the old-growth forests of southern Vancouver Island and defer logging in old-growth forests until the recommendations of the province’s Old Growth Strategic Review have been implemented.
The resolution had not yet been addressed at Wednesday’s CRD board meeting at the time this story was published.