BLOCKADES IN ARGENTA FOR PROTECTION OF OLD GROWTH
I wish it didn’t have to be so, but we are back to talking about trees.
The ongoing fight for the protection of the province’s old growth forests has made it’s way into the West Kootenays, and it’s very close to home this time. Thanks to social media, the public’s eyes were trained mostly westward at Fairy Creek last year; but just a few weeks ago, a group of protestors gathered near Argenta to help protect one of the most significant wilderness areas in Southeastern BC.
On a map, the Argenta-Johnson’s Landing face of Mount Willet is a strip of forest just beyond the boundary of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy, a passive connection between the Conservancy’s protected forests and the shores of Kootenay Lake. What maps don’t show though, is the “ecologically diverse mountainside, important to wildlife and home to old growth spruce, cedar and rare 300-plus-year-old western larch.” A habitat for grizzly, goshawk, heron and wolverine populations, there is also a herd of mountain caribou known to move through and around the area.
Although BC Parks has suggested the importance of protecting this area in the past, Cooper Creek Cedar (and consequently, Porcupine Mill Products) holds tenure over most of the Argenta-Johnson’s Landing Face. Cooper Creek was recently given the go-ahead for 5 clear cuts throughout these forests, some of which contain potential priority one old growth.
Which leads us to Last Stand West Kootenay (LSWK) — a grassroots collective and non-profit group supported by local environmentalists and the Autonomous Sinixt, determined to fight for the protection of the Old Growth forests of the AJL face. They are peacefully still holding camp outside Argenta, and could use your support.
Let’s not keep making the same mistakes.
We resist complacency in skiing, so why not also resist it in life.