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Clayoquot reserve not so protected after all

Tofino closely watching Kamloops mine project, couple says
September 29, 2016 2:46 P.M.

A West Coast area that became synonymous with B.C.’s War in the Woods more than 20 years ago is threatened again by resource development, say two naturalists who were part of the struggle that pitted loggers against environmentalists.

Dan Lewis and Bonny Glambeck of Clayoquot Action, a Tofino–based conservation group, will be in Kamloops on Thursday, Oct. 6, to present Clayoquot — Sound of Freedom, a multimedia journey through the visually stunning landscape, wildlife and cultures of the rainforest. 

They are seasoned naturalists, master digital storytellers and expedition sea kayakers who have paddled much of the B.C. coast. As longtime Tofino residents, they were key organizers of the epic 1993 Clayoquot Summer protests, which saw nearly 1,000 people arrested to stop clearcutting of the area. The region is now a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

“Many people think the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is a park,” Glambeck said. “It most certainly is not. Twenty three years after the mass protests of 1993, there are 20 fish farm sites putting wild salmon at risk, and Imperial Metals is considering opening two mines.”

“Clayoquot Sound demonstrated the power of people to work together to alter the course of history,” added Lewis. “Major industrial projects which will harm the environment are not a done deal, and we do have the power to stop them. Tofino is watching the Ajax proposal in Kamloops closely, as Imperial Metals of Mount Polley fame is proposing an open-pit copper mine just 10 km north of Tofino.”

Their presentation features work by some of BC’s most talented wildlife photographers. 

“We now understand that wild salmon provide the missing nutrients to grow Clayoquot’s monumental cedars,” Glambeck said. “Anything that puts wild salmon at risk also threatens the ancient rainforests.”

The presentation also addresses related challenges, such as the need for reconciliation with First Nations, and to recognize the rights of nature.

The show begins at 7:30 p.m. in the TRU Alumni Theatre. Admission is by donation. More information can be found at ClayoquotAction.org.

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