Actor Mark Ruffalo joins call to protect B.C. old-growth forests

As arrests and protests continue around old-growth logging sites on Vancouver Island, Avengers actor Mark Ruffalo is weighing in on the heated dispute.

On Thursday, Ruffalo shared an online petition calling for an end to old-growth logging in B.C.

Protesters have been camped out in southwest Vancouver Island, manning blockades and blocking forestry roads near Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek since last summer.

In April, the B.C. Supreme Court granted an injunction to forestry company Teal-Jones to have the blockades removed so that work could continue. Since RCMP began enforcing the injunction in late May, approximately 165 people have been arrested, mostly for breaching the injunction or obstruction.

Ruffalo said Thursday that he stands with protesters and urges B.C. to protect "ancient forests."

"This winter I filmed in Vancouver and in my free time I was grateful to experience ancient old-growth cedar trees that were over 2,000 years old," wrote Ruffalo.

"Please join me in supporting the #FairyCreekBlockade where Indigenous Peoples and activists are stopping the logging of #OldGrowth forests in the Pacheedaht and Dididaht territories," he said.

On Saturday, Teal-Jones told CTV News that the ongoing protests were harming the company and the hundreds of jobs it supports. The company added that it can only harvest a limited amount of old-growth.

"There's still millions of acres of old-growth forest protected, so it's never, ever going to run out," said Jack Gardner, a log purchaser for Teal-Jones. "There's lots of protected old-growth out there."

As of Friday morning, nearly 59,000 people had signed the anti-old-growth logging petition that Ruffalo shared.