25th anniversary of the Haida blockade

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Excellent article in the Tyee today, looking back at the turn of forestry practices and the return of culture in this province.

We Gathered to Say Haw’aa

Celebrating, 25 years later, the Haida blockade that helped win a crucial fight to save forests.

By Caitlyn Vernon, Today, TheTyee.ca

Think back 25 years. Picture the way forestry used to happen along the coast of British Columbia. I remember driving past clear cuts that stretched from river bottom to mountain top, hillsides looking completely shaved of all life. Massive piles of log debris obstructing streams, preventing salmon from spawning. With increasing speed, the ancient trees that had taken thousands of years to grow were being mowed down for timber and toilet paper.

But not everyone was just standing by. On Meares Island off the west coast of Vancouver Island, the First Nations joined forces with environmentalists to stop logging. And on Haida Gwaii a campaign had been in the works since the early 1970s to protect the southern part of the archipelago. It was called the South Moresby wilderness proposal.

As a kid in the early ’80s I had the poster of Burnaby Narrows on my wall. It seemed this iconic image from South Moresby was everywhere at the time — the bright sea stars and abundance of rich intertidal life illustrating the beauty of the area and raising awareness of the need to protect it from logging.

Read the entire article here.

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