Old Growth Revylution has set up a blockade on the Akolkolex Forest Service Road, south of Revelstoke, in an attempt to stop old-growth logging in the Holyk and Pulley FSR areas.
In a news release, Nov. 29, the group claimed Downie Timber has continued to harvest in areas that were recently identified as high-value old growth forest, by the Ministry of Forests.
“By continuing to allow logging throughout at-risk old growth areas, the province increases risk of ecosystem collapse and continues to erode public trust,” said Old Growth Revylution.
“By continuing to allow logging throughout at-risk old-growth areas, the province increases risk of ecosystem collapse and continues to erode public trust,” said Old Growth Revylution.
On the map, it does appear that Downie Timber cut blocks (outlined in red) overlap with areas that have been deferred (dark green), however, it is unclear if Downie Timber is, in fact, operating in the deferral areas or not.
Nick Arkle, CEO of Gorman Bros. who owns Downie Timber, said he is unclear on that as well and was hoping to have foresters sit down with Old Growth Revylution and look at maps to clarify the “go and no-go zones”.
At the moment Downie Timber has pulled two contractors out of the area. Arkle estimates it is about 20 workers, however, they have committed to continuing to pay the workers wages.
“You can’t have people out of work this time of the year,” he said.
This time of year sees Downie Timber building their inventory so that operations at the mill can continue in the spring, when harvesting stops due to the spring melt. Not building that inventory could have long-term impacts on operations, Arkle said.
The company moved to the Akolkolex area in response to Old Growth Revylution’s blockade at the Big Mouth earlier this year.