Logging under way in spotted owl habitat

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 (All day)

Local residents hold protest vigil

CHILLIWACK – This morning, trees started falling in a protected spotted owl Wildlife Habitat Area (WHA) after the logging company Tamihi, was issued a cutting permit yesterday by the BC Government.

“We are outraged that the provincial government has allowed this logging to go ahead today,” said Gwen Barlee, Policy Director with the Wilderness Committee. “It’s just way beyond irresponsible to be logging the habitat of spotted owl, one of Canada’s most endangered species.

There are now believed to be less than 10 spotted owls living in the wild in BC – the only place in which they are found in Canada.

Both the BC and federal governments have pledged to bring the Canadian population of spotted owls back from the brink of elimination.

The cutblocks where Tamihi Logging has begun operations were designated as WHA less than a year ago, in March 2011. “The people of BC who cherish our diverse wildlife have been misled,” said Barlee. “On the one hand we are told this is a protected wildlife habitat area, and yet on the other hand the BC Government turns around and allows logging in this same protected area.”

Local residents and supporters have established a vigil directly adjacent to the site of the cutblocks, in order to observe and protest the logging. “I know many local residents feel a strong sense of betrayal and shock at what’s happening in these woods,” said Barlee. “Frankly I think many people right across BC and Canada will share their feelings today.”

BC is one of the last jurisdictions in North America without an endangered species law.

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Contact:

Gwen Barlee, Policy Director, Wilderness Committee: 604-683-8220 (w) or 604-202-0322 (c)