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Logging company and protesters head to court

Sacred Fire continues to burn as fate of a N'Qu'tqua forest remains in question



Whether or not the N’Quátqua and CRB logging companies can proceed with the logging of 80 hectares above Anderson Lake is still undetermined.

More than six weeks after protesters vowed to deny logging trucks access to Portage Road, the fate of the parcel is still unknown.

Representatives from the N’Quátqua Logging Company (NLC) and members of the Old Growth Alliance had been scheduled to appear in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on May 18. The NLC’s legal counsel asked for an adjournment, which the opposition consented to. Both sides will be back in court on Friday, June 2.

The protesters want answers concerning lack of community consultation by the N’Quátqua chief and council in arriving at the decision to remove an estimated 30,000 old growth trees. According to one protester, repeated requests for documentation of meetings pertaining to the fate of the land, known as CP16, have been met with vague responses.

"The last time we asked, we were told they were having trouble finding the documents," said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous.

The alliance, a group of N’Quátqua and their non-band supporters who oppose the logging, maintain that the chief and council did not employ proper process in making the decision to log the site. The alliance expects that the logging company will push to have an injunction against the protesters instated. The protesters are prepared to fight, having filed more than 80 pages of affidavits defending their actions.

The court case arises from the fact that 10 of the protesters were served with legal papers May 12. The NLC is seeking costs it says it will owe CRB if the area cannot be logged. However, with both sides preferring to communicate via sporadic press releases, the full scope of the suits has yet to be determined.

In the meantime, the alliance is actively seeking donations of food and money, as well as moral support for the protesters who continue to tend what has been dubbed "The Sacred Fire" at D’Arcy. Additionally, those wishing to take part in the 24-hour a day action are invited to join others around the fire to share information and opinions.

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