Old Growth Revylution intends to keep their blockade on the Big Mount Forest Service Road going into the winter. (Contributed)

Old Growth Revylution intends to keep their blockade on the Big Mount Forest Service Road going into the winter. (Contributed)

Old growth blockade north of Revelstoke to continue into the winter

Since July 7 a group has been blocking access to old growth forest in the Argonaut valley

The blockade continues at the Bigmouth Forest Service Road, 120 kilometres north of Revelstoke.

After three months, Old Growth Revylution is determined to prevent repair work on a road in the area unless it’s for deactivation and the abandonment of plans to log in the Argonaut and adjacent Bigmouth drainage.

“We’re afraid that if we leave, they’re quite capable of ploughing those roads and logging in the winter,” said Virginia Thompson, a member of Old Growth Revylution, in a news release. “We don’t know if we can pull it off, but we are sure going to try. We have a few people who are very at home in the backcountry and know-how to winter camp and don’t mind being quite solitary.”

The protest, which started with marches in the city in solidarity with the blockades at Fairy Creek on Vancouver Island, morphed into a more local focus, with the Revelstoke blockade beginning July 7.

READ MORE: No more ‘Miss Goody Two-shoes’: Revelstokians against old growth logging block forest service road

READ MORE: It’s happening on our doorstep: Revelstoke protests local old-growth logging

The blockaders are protecting three cut blocks that were not included with 11 others in a government deferral, December 2020, meant to temporarily prevent logging in the area until the caribou herd planning process is complete.

The demand to leave the Argonaut drainage alone is supported by First Nations, including the Splatsin and Ktunaxa Nations, and environmental organizations, such as Wildsight, Y2Y, Wilderness Committee and Valhalla Wilderness Society.

READ MORE: Ktunaxa Nation Council committed to stewardship in the Argonaut Valley

READ MORE: Splatsin opposes old-growth logging north of Revelstoke

Also of concern is the inland temperate rainforest in the area.

“The decline of mountain caribou has mirrored the destruction of the inland temperate rainforest ecosystem,” said Eddie Petryshen, Wildsight conservation specialist, in a news release.

Since setting up camp on the forest service road, Downie Timber has stopped road building and harvesting operations in the area.

READ MORE: Understanding impacts: A look at the forestry industry in Revelstoke

“Until the B.C. government honours the conditions of their own Old Growth Strategic Review Panel and releases maps of areas that should be deferred because they are at near term risk of irreversible biodiversity loss, the land defenders will continue to take action to protect the last intact areas of the globally unique inland temperate rainforest in the valleys north of Revelstoke,” said Old Growth Revylution in the news release.

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