The fight to protect Argonaut Creek

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

My eyes scaled to the sky as I strained my head as far back as possible, attempting but failing to find the top of the tree. This tree is over 700-years-old with a circumference the size of three people holding hands with arms outstretched. It breathes the stuff we exhale and vice versa. This mutual, resuscitation-like relationship that’s happening all the time is one of many we have with forests.

Old-growth forests are usually synonymous with the coast. Where the land joins the Pacific Ocean, a longer growing season and ample amounts of nutrients and water create a climate enabling the growth of gigantic trees. Yet, in the interior, roughly 450 km away from the coast, you can find ancient trees over two metres wide. The combination of the Columbia and Rocky mountains, soil, abundant water and a star 150 million km away come together to create the phenomenon that is the interior rainforest of BC. It’s the world’s largest inland temperate rainforest. However, just as old-growth trees aren’t only on the coast, old-growth logging is also not. 

Below is a timeline of events in the fight to protect Argonaut Creek.

Tree blessed with ceremonial flags during the ceremony on July 11 (Photo:Old Growth Revylution)
Tree blessed with ceremonial flags during the ceremony on July 11 (Photo: Old Growth Revylution)

On July 11 a ceremony was held by Splatsin First Nation. The ceremony’s purpose was “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 Splatsin First Nation Kukpi7 (Chief) Wayne Christan. B.C. Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief Terry Teegee and representatives from the Syilx Okanagan Nation also attended the ceremony.

In the wake of the blockade, the Ktunaxa Nation has also issued statements calling for the protection of the North Columbia caribou herd.

When August rolled around this year, folks on the ground found more logging removing large trees from areas nearby. Nagle Creek is one of those areas. Multiple cutblocks are approved there, which could be logged this year. The proposed cutblocks contain old-growth trees and caribou habitat. It is also on the banks of a dam where BC hydro is concerned could have a landslide if logged. 

Within a couple of days, the blockade expanded to protect Nagle Creek. Road building logging crews returned in the morning by the blockade. On August 16, crews removed equipment from the area. 

The Nagle Creek blockade has since been removed; given the fires, BC has experienced this summer, there’s been trouble keeping a safe number of people at the blockades. 

The folks at Revylution are putting out a call for people to come to support the blockades. The blockades are not illegal because there is no injunction against them. They are hoping to stay there until Argonaut Creek is protected for good. 

Old Growth Revylution blockades with the Splatsin members of the Secwépemc Nation at the entrance of Big Mouth Forest Service Road off Highway 23, about 120 kilometres north of the city. (Submitted by Old Growth Revylution)
Old Growth Revylution blockades with the Splatsin members of the Secwépemc Nation at the entrance of Big Mouth Forest Service Road off Highway 23, about 120 kilometres north of the city. (Photo: Old Growth Revylution)

Folks at Revylution are asking for you to support them! Find out ways to help below.

Ways to help

Get informed! Check out the old-growth strategic review

Check out the Revylution blockade!

 

 

Join the movement to save old-growth

Old-growth slated to be logged

 

 
More from this campaign
Threatened mountain caribou from the À La Pêche herd near Grande Cache, Alberta. Photo John E. Marriott
Threatened mountain caribou from the À La Pêche herd near Grande Cache, Alberta. Photo © John E. Marriott
Photo: End of Logging Road leading to critical habitat in Argonaut Creek (Casey Dubois Media and Echo Conservation Society)
Photo: End of Logging Road leading to critical habitat (Casey Dubois Media and Echo Conservation Society)