Forest City urged to join fight over old growth forest in B.C.

A rally in Victoria Park called on Londoners to voice opposition to logging inside an ancient forest on the west coast of Canada.

People have been camped out in the Fairy Creek watershed since last August to defend what they describe as the last unprotected old growth forest on southern Vancouver Island.

London-native Jamie Ranney has just returned from the front lines.

“The thing that touched me the most being there was just reconnecting with nature because you can get so disconnected in the city,” Ranney tells CTV News London.

Ranney joined members of Climate Action London outside the entrance to Ribfest on Friday to educate Londoners about the protest occurring half a country away.

And that the Forest City has an interest in the health of forests in B.C.

“We have seen already this year all the smoke that arrived here from the forest fires across Canada,” says Mary Ann Hodge of Climate Action London.

Logging company Teal Jones holds the license for the watershed, and has previously stated a belief that 200 hectares of the 1,200 hectares are harvestable.

Ranney says the old growth forest in the Fairy Creek watershed took a thousand years to grow, storing carbon from the atmosphere.

“The carbon that these forests store is unlike any forest we have in Canada, and certainly nothing like a replanted forest,” she says.

Tensions heated up this spring when a court injunction forbid protestors from preventing access.

The RCMP have made more than 400 arrests.

Climate Action London says concerned people in our region should contact their member of parliament.

Ranney hopes her hometown will step up.

“Getting the word out, telling friends and family about this is going to help our fight.”