Anti-ancient logging protesters moved out of one of their last remaining camps leading to the Fairy Creek watershed.
With snow on the ground, camping conditions are less than ideal.
The group also claims that the snow makes their roadside campsite unsafe. In social media posts this week, the Rainforest Flying Squad announced that it was withdrawing from one of its last camps, at least for the short term.
“There is no logging in progress at this time. Mother nature has her own blockade with the snow so we have an aboriginal led occupation in their own territory and they will stay and watch for spring or next moves with industry and we will just wait,” said Shawna Knight of the rain forest flying squad.
Last year, the RCMP made more than 1,100 arrests in the region in what is being called the largest act of civil disobedience in Canada, as protesters stopped or slowed down the logging of ancient forests.
The protesters and some local First Nations people are among those still awaiting a decision from the British Columbia Court of Appeal on the status of the temporary injunction granted to logging company Teal Jones.
“We will not leave. We just take care of our safety in other places and we will patrol and check all access points to the territory,” said Pacheedaht elder Bill Jones.
RCMP say the removal of the roadside camp on Fairy Creek Road will not affect its operations in the area.
“We have maintained our presence since December, permanent roving patrols, just to make sure the roads are clear and accessible. We had no problems. There have been no arrests since mid-December,” said Island District RCMP Sgt. Chris Manseau.
The company with the largest stake in the area, Teal Jones, says it’s no surprise protesters are largely pulling out.
“It’s not a very hospitable place at this time of year, that’s for sure, so hopefully everyone will get out safely and clean up the mess they’ve left in all the different camps,” said Conrad Browne, Teal Jones’ Director of Indigenous Partnerships and Strategic Relations.
Protesters say some of their members are now involved in protests on Wet’suwet’en territory in northern British Columbia while others will be taking a well-deserved break.