Environmentalists raise outcry over forest firm's road-building in Clayoquot

Victoria Times Colonist

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

VICTORIA - An environmental group is raising the alarm over International Forest Products' construction of a logging road into the Hesquiat Lake Creek valley north of Tofino.

Friends of Clayoquot Sound on Monday described the building of the road as "an ecological crime" and called on Interfor to halt construction. The group said this marks the first time in 14 years that an intact wilderness valley in the sound has been subject to road-building and the falling of ancient temperate rainforest.

But Interfor's West Coast division area manager Don McMillan said the company has necessary approval from both government and first nations to conduct the road work.

"We've got approvals at all levels,' " McMillan said. "We're following all of the very strict science panel recommendations and government and first nations in terms of the plans that have been signed off and approved."

Diego Garcia, a Friends of Clayoquot Sound spokesman, said even though Interfor may have the legal right to construct the road, that doesn't mean it should.

Undisturbed valleys are rare on Vancouver Island, where 75 per cent of the original productive forest has been logged, the group said in a news release. It calls on Interfor to immediately cease all forestry activity in Clayoquot's intact valleys.

© The Vancouver Sun 2005

Informant: Deane T. Rimerman


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