Indigenous community leaders, celebrities, environmental activists, scientists, and celebrities have joined in the growing chorus to save BC’s old-growth forests. In a video ad campaign, they have held the BC government accountable for their campaign promises. American actor and producer, Mark Ruffalo has joined in the call for action.
Mark Ruffalo, who played the role of Bruce Banner in Hulk in the Marvel Comics franchise film, is using his immense social media influence to support the cause of the activists who are at the forefront trying to prevent the logging corporations from bringing down the ancient trees on southwestern Vancouver Island.
Mark Ruffalo shared an online petition calling for an end to the logging of the trees in British Columbia. He tweeted his support for the efforts of the activists at the Fairy Creek watershed, near Port Renfrew, which has been under blockade since August 2020.
Mark Ruffalo requested people to support the Fairy Creek blockade where indigenous people and other activists were preventing the logging of old-growth trees. He urged people to sign the petition and force the British Columbia New Democratic Party and its leader, John Horgan to protect the ancient forests with trees some as old as 2,000 years.
Activists say that little of the old-growth forests remain in British Columbia and Fairy Creek has the best of them. These last unprotected and intact old-growth valleys on southern Vancouver islands would mean the end of the old forest.
The Support Of Mark Ruffalo Could Have An Impact
The entry of a modern-day superhero to protect the forests from the loggers has found resonance among the vast base of supporters of Mark Ruffalo.
Mark Ruffalo is a fervent and dedicated environmentalist who has regularly been at the forefront of topics from animal welfare to climate change. He says he came across the magnificence of the ancient forests of British Columbia while filming for the ‘The Adam Project,’ his forthcoming science-fiction flick.
He says he shot in Vancouver in winter and discovered the majesty of the old-growth ancient cedar forests that are more than 2,000 years old.
Pressure is ramping up on the NDP to honor their campaign promise to protect the forests. The Squamish Nation demanded an immediate moratorium on the logging of old-growth forests in the region. The RCMP continues to enforce a ban and has arrested over 200 people in the area.
Please defer logging in ALL at-risk old forests. Not in three years, not in three months. Now.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) June 18, 2021
The government has to date agreed to defer logging only in part of the Central Walbran area and the Fairy Creek watershed, which consists of 2,000 hectares of old-growth forests. The remaining old-growth forest continue to remain at risk from the loggers.
Independent studies by environmentalists and scientists have identified around 1.3 million hectares for deferral of logging operations as an initial step. Protesters are urging the protection of all old-growth forests that are at risk.
An independent old-growth review panel had submitted its report and recommendation in April last year. It gave specific timelines for immediate steps to be taken, which included the full involvement of indigenous people and reducing the threats faced by specific forests.
The Government Is Yet To Take Significant Action
But despite a 6-month timeline for implementing the deferrals, 75% of the productive forests in the province continue to be open for logging. Only 2.7% of the old-growth forests remain in the forested areas of British Columbia, and 75% of that is also marked for logging in the next few years.
But the government has refused to implement the findings of the study. They continue to refuse to take any action, and logging continues unabated in these ecologically sensitive areas.
A few days after Mark Ruffalo opened up in support of the movement, Canada ordered the suspension of logging of old-growth forests at Fairy Creek and in the central Walbran valley nearby for 2 years. This will allow the communities to come up with land management rules of their own.
Protestors welcomed the move but said that a lot needs to be done. They said the rainforest areas near Fairy Creek also have to be protected. They have decided to continue to keep a vigil in the area and prevent them from further destroying the ecosystem.