Endangered groves

Published: Tuesday 15 July 1997

A CAMPAIGN is on to save the Great Bear rainforest in Ista valley in Bella Coola, British Columbia. Recently, four environmental groups joined the natives of the Nuxalk nation to blockade logging operations in the valley which is sacred to the Nuxalk tribe. The campaigners included gre6n groups like Greenpeace, Bear Watch and Forest Action Network. They barritaded the main road which is the only ,.'access point to all road construction and forest clearing operations of loggers in the valley.

"When they clearcut our ancient rainforests they are clearcutting the Nuxalk culture and our history," said the Nuxalk chief Lawrence Pootlass. "it is only by people joining together that we have a chance to protect the last of the world's temperate rainforest," said Tamara Stark of Greenpeace.

A logging company, Interfor, has already cleared large portions of the rainforest this year and it plans to clear 11 more areas in the next three years. It also has the rights to log at least seven more of the remaining intact valleys in Nuxalk territory within the next 10 years.

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