LAKE COWICHAN, B.C. — Police say 58 people were arrested Tuesday as they enforced a British Columbia court injunction ordering the removal of blockades aimed at preventing old-growth logging on southwestern Vancouver Island.
The RCMP say the protesters who gathered along a forest service road west of Lake Cowichan were given a chance to leave or face arrest, and nine of those taken into custody had been arrested in previous days.
The Mounties say more than 100 people have been arrested since enforcement of the court injunction began last week to allow workers with the Teal-Jones Group to resume logging in that area and in the Fairy Creek watershed to the south, near Port Renfrew.
Sgt. Chris Manseau says police enforcement was initially planned for just one location Tuesday at a camp near Port Renfrew, but some officers were redeployed as protesters gathered along the McClure forest service road.
He says in a statement that arrests were expected to continue there Wednesday.
Activists say very little of the best old-growth forest remains in B.C. and Fairy Creek is the last unprotected, intact old-growth valley on southern Vancouver Island.
Teal-Jones has said it plans to harvest about 20 hectares at the north ridge of the 1,200-hectare watershed out of 200 available for harvest.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2021.
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: Corrects number of arrests to 58