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Huu-ay-aht Chief Coun. Robert J. Dennis Sr. is blunt in his assessment of old-growth activists in southwestern Vancouver Island who remain in First Nations' territories despite being asked to leave.

“The environmental movement needs to be more respectful,” said Dennis, also known as Emchayiik. “How would any of them like it if I came into their backyard and set up a protest?”

Activists behind the contentious nine-month-long logging blockades in the Fairy Creek and Caycuse watersheds have failed to seek permission or open dialogue with the Pacheedaht and Ditidaht First Nations tied to those areas, Dennis said.

Blockade organizers recently doubled down and refused to leave even after elected and hereditary chiefs of the Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht and Pacheedaht declared sovereignty and received provincial deferrals on old-growth logging for sections of the prized Fairy Creek watershed and the Central Walbran Valley.

The Fairy Creek blockades have laid bare an uncomfortable tension between First Nations reclaiming dominion over their traditional territories and environmentalists seeking to protect centuries-old trees. Although some First Nations people are involved in the current protests, they are a minority.

While the environmental movement is generally supportive of First Nations' rights, as the push to save B.C.'s remaining old-growth forests intensifies, it puts them at odds with First Nations that may support a certain amount of old-growth logging on their lands.

According to Dennis and some other First Nations leaders, the noise and furor of the Fairy Creek protests threaten to drown out the assertion of Indigenous peoples’ rights over their territories.

Resource development helps pay for First Nations government and services, Dennis said.

“If we can't get this money from somewhere, what are we supposed to do? Stay on welfare forever?” he asked.

“The environmental movement needs to be more respectful,” says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis of #OldGrowth protesters refusing to leave First Nations' territory. “How would any of them like it if I came into their backyard and set up a protest?”

Yet public support to protect old-growth forests is widespread across the province, with upwards of hundreds or even a thousand people arriving in the territories to support the blockades on various occasions. Close to 250 people had been arrested as of last week, some more than once.

The campaign to save B.C’s remaining ancient ecosystems is getting international attention from diverse luminaries, such as Greta Thunberg and former prime minister Brian Mulroney. Sympathetic politicians regularly visit the blockades, and Hollywood actor Mark Ruffalo has tweeted shout-outs for Fairy Creek activists.

But by protesting in places they’re not wanted, conservationists are being called out by some Indigenous leaders like Dennis for exemplifying the colonial or paternalistic approach taken by their forebears.

They may not be saying it out loud anymore, but the attitude is the same, Dennis said: “We’ll manage it for you. We’ll do it for you.”

War of the Woods revival

The goals of environmentalists and First Nations didn't always dovetail in the War of Woods in Clayoquot Sound. Photo by Ademoor / Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Fairy Creek blockades — in place since August and in B.C. Premier John Horgan’s own backyard — are touted as B.C.’s newest War of the Woods.

The 1993 battle for Clayoquot Sound was Canada’s longest demonstration of civil disobedience, drew global attention to old-growth logging in B.C. and resulted in nearly 1,000 arrests.

Environmental groups large and small, global and local, spilled into the region and helped limit clear-cut logging in the sound and preserve it as a UNESCO biosphere.

The environmental movement largely sees the Clayoquot battle as a milestone victory, a template for organizing protests to achieve conservation goals.

But, as in the War of the Woods, Fairy Creek environmentalists’ objectives don’t cleanly jibe with First Nations looking to assert rights, said historian Jonathan Clapperton, associated with Royal Roads University.

Settler environmentalists at blockades are in the shaky position of proclaiming support for Indigenous rights while simultaneously attempting to control forestry in First Nations' territory, said Clapperton, who researches the intersection of Indigenous history and resource use with environmental activism.

“If protesters are refusing to leave even at the request of the local First Nations with authority in their traditional territory, then it’s definitely problematic,” he said. “And it repeats actions that have taken place in the past when we look at the history of environmental protest on Indigenous lands.”

Conservation movements such as Greenpeace’s campaign to end the seal hunt in Canada’s North at the expense of Indigenous people, or the colonial legacy of parks creation that curtails traditional hunting or uses of the land, are just some examples of the environmental movement's neocolonial history.

In the Clayoquot battle, environmentalists and First Nations generally co-operated, but there were also clashes and fallouts with environmental groups when First Nations asserted their authority.

The Nuu-chah-nulth banned both the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Greenpeace from their territory, and shut down blockades erected without their permission.

The Fairy Creek protest is complex in that a number of First Nations activists — such as Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones and his niece Kati George-Jim — are expressly opposed to old-growth logging in their territory.

First Nations activists should absolutely have a central role in discussion around resource use in their territories, Clapperton added. But settler conservationists should be leery of determining who has the right to speak for a nation or cherry-picking voices who support their objectives.

Clapperton expressed empathy for old-growth activists under the gun to save rapidly diminishing ancient ecosystems.

“It’s a race of time, and once the trees are gone, there's no going back, but (the sense of urgency) can continue to perpetuate an imbalance of power between white settlers and First Nations.”

Sovereignty vital, but government responsible for increasing tensions

Wilderness Committee campaigner Torrance Coste said the Fairy Creek protests are the result B.C. Premier John Horgan failing to take action to protect old-growth forests. File photo by Louis Bockner

Torrance Coste, a campaigner with the Wilderness Committee, agreed environmental groups (ENGOs) must strive to ensure conservation goals are firmly tethered to environmental justice.

“The environmental movement needs to do a much better job in recognizing Indigenous sovereignty and for fighting for solutions that don’t just protect the environment, but uplift the people who belong to it,” Coste said.

Following the Pacheedaht Nation’s request that activists leave its territory, the Wilderness Committee expressed unequivocal support for the rights and title of Indigenous peoples.

Coste blames the Fairy Creek conflict on the B.C. government’s failure to substantially protect at-risk ecosystems as promised. He maintains that set the table for any ensuing tension between activists and First Nations.

B.C.'s premier has wielded the First Nations’ request for third parties to leave as a means to deflect criticism and get the blockades out of his riding, Coste noted.

Yet with chainsaws still buzzing, government and logging companies with their attendant colonial legacies haven’t fully exited the scene or created a space that would truly allow First Nations to choose how to manage their resources.

Coste says the answer lies in offering First Nations monetary compensation in exchange for logging deferrals, so they have the option of saving old-growth rather than having to cut the last of it for much-needed revenue.

Responding to the call

The Rainforest Flying Squad (RFS), the coalition organizing the Fairy Creek blockades, says its members remain at the request of Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones. File photo by RFS

The government isn’t the only entity justifying its actions on the grounds of supporting First Nations sovereignty. The Rainforest Flying Squad (RFS), the grassroots coalition behind the blockades, points to calls to action by Jones, the Pacheedaht elder, and young hereditary Chief Victor Peter as justification for their continued protest in the territories.

The colonial system allows the province to sign away First Nations' right to control resources on unceded lands to industrial logging companies and forces them under economic duress to enter agreements to go along with old-growth logging, Jones has said.

But it’s unclear what efforts the RFS has made to seek permission to stay in the territories from the nations, or if it has attempted to dialogue with the leadership to discuss old-growth areas of concern.

Environmentalist Tzeporah Berman is supporting the old-growth blockades at Fairy Creek. File photo by Karri Green-Schuermans

Veteran environmentalist Tzeporah Berman, who organized protests in the original War of the Woods, defends the right of protesters to continue. She recently joined the Fairy Creek blockades and was arrested.

Asked how she reconciles the seeming contradiction of claiming to support First Nations' sovereignty yet refusing to leave their territories when asked to do so, Berman has this to say:

“If we are truly going to decolonize British Columbia and recognize Indigenous nations’ sovereignty, they need to be treated as nations,” she told Canada’s National Observer.

All governments need to be held to account for their decisions, the director said.

“So I respect the Pacheedaht right to make decisions over their territory, and they need to understand that everyone is not always going to agree with those decisions.”

Berman said she wanted to respond to Jones’s call and noted First Nations elders and youth were among those who invited her to join the Fairy Creek protests.

“I (also) saw Indigenous folks being arrested on the blockades, and I thought, ‘You know what, that's enough for me,’” she said.

Berman said she understands why First Nations sign revenue agreements for old-growth logging on their land. They are pushed into supporting industrial extraction, she said.

While contemporary conservationists don’t set out to act like colonists by pursuing environmental objectives, that's no guarantee it doesn’t happen, Clapperton said.

Conservationists can too easily play the role of benevolent heroes, reducing Indigenous people to the role of environmentalist sidekicks. And they can earn the neo-colonialist moniker by portraying Indigenous people as victims overwhelmed by the infrastructure of a colonial elite, his research suggests.

“In either situation, environmentalists remain at the centre of history and Aboriginal peoples are denied any significant measure of agency,” Clapperton writes.

First Nations and environmentalists: A rocky relationship

Tsimshian and Nuu-chah-nulth scholar Cliff Atleo says First Nations communities and members have diverse opinions around resource use. Photo courtesy Cliff Atleo

Environmentalists and First Nations have long made for uneasy allies, said Cliff Atleo, a Tsimshian and Nuu-chah-nulth scholar and professor at Simon Fraser University.

Atleo, who specializes in Indigenous governance, political economy and resource management, was invited to speak at a 20th-anniversary celebration of the War of the Woods and its conservation milestones.

“I kind of went there with this express purpose to be very clear about some Indigenous perspectives on that movement, and it almost felt like I was raining on their parade,” said Atleo, also known as Kam’ayaam or Chachim’multhnii.

Some attendees were taken aback to hear there were limited overlapping interests between First Nations and environmentalists — and perhaps disillusioned that the two parties weren’t actually staunch allies fighting united for a common cause.

“I was just trying to say we felt like we were being besieged by what we had interpreted as privileged environmentalists, coming to save our trees, on our land, with no consultation with us,” Atleo said.

“But in this case, it was a marriage of convenience, if you will. And it was always quite contentious.”

It felt predetermined that activists wouldn’t pack up when the Pacheedaht asked them to, Atleo said. ENGOs, governments, industry and even the Supreme Court still reserve the right to infringe on First Nations’ sovereignty, he added.

“So there's always that sense of crushing inevitability that Indigenous peoples have really grown accustomed to,” Atleo said.

Indigenous leaders face huge challenges balancing resource projects, job creation and economic opportunity with conservation and community preservation.

“In addition to cultural, environmental and spiritual values, it also includes the economic and political realities that we still have to navigate,” Atleo said.

“Which, of course, from an environmental or conservationist point of view, is usually interpreted as selling out.”

Unlike the past battles to save old-growth on Vancouver Island, the Fairy Creek blockades involve a number of Indigenous activists, Atleo said. It demonstrates, like everyone else, First Nations as individuals and communities are not monolithic and hold diverse opinions on environmental issues, be they logging or fish farms.

Conservationists also often expect all Indigenous people to be the original environmentalists and save what little old-growth exists after their settler forebears cut most of it down.

“You know, we're supposed to take one for the team and inspire others,” Atleo said.

First Nations are investing in forestry

In signing the recent Hišuk ma c̕awak Declaration, the Pacheedaht, Huu-ay-aht and Ditidaht asserted they were taking back control of their ḥahahuułi, or traditional territories, and its resources.

The nations adhere to sacred principles that guide stewardship in their territory and have a millennia of experience in managing their resources for future generations, Dennis said.

All three of the nations are involved in forestry operations, either through revenue agreements, woodlot licences, partnerships or operating sawmills.

The Huu-ay-aht announced in March it had purchased a sizable chunk of the logging tenure in its territory as well as an interest in a regional sawmill.

Dennis didn’t offer an opinion on whether the province should pay the Huu-ay-aht to not log old-growth. In any event, he doesn’t think it is a likely option.

The blockades are polarizing First Nations communities and hampering the development of stewardship and restoration plans for their lands and waters, he added.

“People should realize that First Nations are probably giving more attention to how the forest is managed than anyone else, and they should be respected and able to carry on their work without any interference from the outside world,” he said.

First Nations and environmentalists actually share similar concerns around preserving old-growth forests, Dennis said.

“I’m not anti-environmentalist. A lot of the value systems they have, we’re all on the same page,” said Dennis, adding he’s open to discussing environmentalists’ concerns.

All three First Nations support peaceful protest that doesn’t interfere with authorized forestry operations in their territories, he added.

But, said Dennis, “I don't like being bullied. And in my perspective, when someone comes into our territories, uninvited, they're bullying their way through.”

Rochelle Baker / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada’s National Observer

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Nearly a continent away, in Northern Ontario, I know little about the specifics of this disagreement. My personal, far-away, concern is that the continent has lost so horribly much of its old-growth forests, and B.C. looks like the last, and best, remainder. And to cite the obvious, once an old-growth giant is gone--it's gone. Permanently, irretrievably, irreparably, unrecoverably, choose your terminal terminology.

I am sick unto death of seeing and hearing non-Indigenous people and communities and politicians and corporations whimper about jobs, and the economy, as a balancing concern--often overwhelming.

It is not a binary situation. If all those non-Indigenous bodies were to do what's remotely just, remotely fair, as well as self-interested, they, most especially DINA and parallel provincial and territorial bodies, would sit down, RESPECTFULLY, equitably, justly, with Indigenous peoples, communities, and come to consensus on these issues. Consensus, by the way, is operationally defined as agreement that a decision taken by the group will be accepted, and supported by, all members, even if it is not their first or preferred choice.

Several decades ago, I worked for DINA in a support capacity in its headquarters, for over 14 years.

My opinion, based on that experience and unchanged by anything since, is that it is a manifestation of the continuation of colonization and imperialism to expect all First Nations, all Indigenous peoples, to speak with one voice. The western, non-indigenous world has such bodies as the UN, and the EU, and we have seen how different national positions within those bodies are. It is only for our own (non-Indigenous) convenience and comfort that the expectation of one single united Indigenous body or voice should continue.

I am 72 now, and more and more and more my concerns are with the planet that the next generations will inherit, and have to live in. My heart wishes they would experience the clean air, clean water, clean soil, that my generation experienced. My heart wants desperately to protect and preserve what's left of that. My heart and my mind want to see more respectful, more equitable relations and actions among peoples and nations.

I won't live to see that, but I hope.

It pains my soul, to see the very People whose ancestral wisdom might be able to pull our one-tracked eyes far enough away from the almighty dollar to save us all yet, to see even those People succumb to the logic of, "It's *our* land: so if we say so, the colonialists we choose can log here if they share the money with us."

The classic conundrum for any small remote community, regardless of color. What if what we do to survive imperils our survival? Damages our ecosystem? Degrades our life-support system?
Obviously unsustainable. Short-term resource extraction is not a recipe for successs for any community.
We need to find sustainable ways of living. Ways to monetize our resources without destroying them. Make use of our natural capital instead of liquidating it.
That is a role for society and government, not individual environmental activists and small ENGOs.
Unfortunately, resource-extraction companies working hand in hand with compliant governments have small, isolated (indigenous) communities over a barrel. Indigenous communities are victims of the colonial system. Multi-national resource companies in global industries are driving this train. Our local ecosystems do not stand a chance unless ordinary citizens defend them.
Of course, we should acknowledge indigenous sovereignty. Beyond that, all of us must acknowledge the primacy of Mother Earth. The little old-growth remaining has inherent value, over and above its market value. We are temporary caretakers at best, and poor ones at worst. The Earth endures; we are just passing through. These ecosystems do not belong to us, even if our ancestors have occupied the land for generations. These ecosystems and our fellow species are not our property to do with as we wish. Rather, a legacy to be protected and passed on to future generations. A home for all species.

Do indigenous guides in the North have the right to shoot the last polar bear so American trophy hunters can take the hide home for cash? Do indigenous hunters have the right to decimate caribou herds?
These contentious questions need answers. While we flounder and fight one another, we are losing irreplaceable places and species.

Many First Nations communities are underfunded and impoverished. Many sign benefit agreements under duress. Their signatures are coerced, not free.
Same story in the oilsands.
Report of the Joint Review Panel: Teck Resources Limited: Frontier Oil Sands Mine Project
"We find that the project is likely to result in SIGNIFICANT ADVERSE ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS to wetlands, oldgrowth forests, wetland- and old-growth-reliant species at risk, the Ronald Lake bison herd, and biodiversity. The project is also likely to result in SIGNIFICANT ADVERSE EFFECTS TO THE ASSERTED RIGHTS, USE OF LANDS AND RESOURCES, AND CULTURE OF INDIGENOUS GROUPS who use the project area. The proposed mitigation measures have not been proven to be effective or to fully mitigate project effects on the environment or on indigenous rights, use of lands and resources, and culture."

Who signs onto projects like that? Who agrees to compromise their health and welfare for jobs? Who gives up their birthright for cash? Who allows their lands to be turned into an ecological sacrifice zone?
Consent means nothing when you don't have the power to say no.

"The question of how to deal with projects such as Teck is complicated, especially given the history of developments being approved despite indigenous concerns.
Matt Hulse, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation regulatory affairs coordinator: "People don’t want the (Teck Frontier) mine to go ahead, but, because we have so little confidence in regulatory process, indigenous communities are forced to find ways to benefit from the project to offset the impacts. there isn’t any good option.'"
"'Nowhere else to turn’: First Nations inundated by oilsands projects face impossible choices" (The Narwhal)

Having fought for decades against destructive projects to no avail, many First Nations have given up the struggle. If the project is going ahead regardless, band councils can either get something if they sign or get nothing.
"We're going to 'develop' the oilsands with or without you. So you may as well take the jobs and co-operate in the destruction of your homeland and way of life. Co-operate and get something — or don't co-operate and get nothing. Makes no difference to us."
That's the deal industry and government made with First Nations. Indigenous communities were steam-rolled. Decades later their concerns still fall on deaf ears.
Yes, many First Nations support oil and gas. Not like they were given much choice.
What will be left for First Nations — and the rest of us — when the oilsands industry collapses? No jobs, a contaminated landscape bereft of wildlife, and chronic illness? By committing themselves to this sunset industry, are they investing in their children's future — or selling them out?

The story is the same across the land:
"Two First Nations chiefs who signed letters of support for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion say they don’t truly support the project.
"Chief Robert Joseph of Ditidaht First Nation told the Tracking Trans Mountain team that he felt fighting the pipeline was futile.
"'At the end of the day, we are not really in favour of any pipeline, but we believe it’s going to go through anyway,' Joseph said. 'They will not listen to anybody and that’s the history of consultation with First Nations people … They consult and go ahead and do what they were going to do anyways.'
"… Joseph said he worried that if his nation opposed the project, they would be on their own if oil spills.
"He said the consultation process wasn’t meaningful.
"'Even if it’s the best consultation on the face of the earth, if they do what they were going to do anyhow, what’s the point?'"

April Thomas, Canim Lake Band: "...the pipeline project is 'just another divide and conquer tactic that’s been used on our people over and over again. The Government of Canada made our people so desperate. We have a housing crisis, a poverty crisis and they’ve made our people so desperate that they feel like they’re obligated to sign these agreements because they think that’s all they’re going to get.'"

"Nak'azdli elected chief Alex McKinnon said 'it was the hardest decision of his life when he made the call to vote in favour of CGL.
"It was to break a tied vote among his council. The community was torn. It was years in the making. It kept him up at night, tossing and turning.
"He and his hereditary chief, Peter Erickson, said the Nak'azdli were 'backed into a corner' by the Province of B.C. and told to sign on, or they’ll get nothing and it 'will happen anyway.'"
"The story of a pipeline and the communities in its path is a complicated one" (National Observer, Feb 13th 2020)

"...some First Nations said that they signed the benefit agreements or letters of support out of concern that, if they failed to do so, they risked getting nothing at all. Kyra Northwest, of the Samson Cree Nation, said 'You can oppose, but with the past government it (a proposed project) would get approved either way, so Samson Cree agreed just to be sure we would get something.'
"And Summer Ebringer, of the Enoch Cree First Nation agreed, 'The fear is that if you don’t sign and it goes ahead anyway, you get nothing.'"
"This is the language of the powerless, of people with no leverage or bargaining power."

"Who signs onto projects like that? Who agrees to compromise their health and welfare for jobs? Who gives up their birthright for cash? Who allows their lands to be turned into an ecological sacrifice zone?"
The straightforward answer is "We all do". Humanity has been doing this for at least 12,000 years. Taking that perspective, so-called old growth trees have gone through about 15 generations since the last ice age and will likely regenerate again after the lumber companies go away. Maybe, while we still have electricity you should use your keyboard to write a note to your great-great-grand children to remind them to take trip to BC's west coast - it will still be here then.

Is there a difference between committing suicide and being forced to commit suicide (i.e., murder)?
The dominant society is committing suicide voluntarily. Indigenous communities were first compelled, then co-opted, and now, in some cases, enter willingly into the pact.
I agree that all human societies, even indigenous, tend to over-exploit their resources. Humans have been putting other species out of business, including other hominids, for tens of thousands of years. However, some traditional societies evolved traditions, wisdoms, and precepts that limited this tendency. When those traditions disappear, so do the restraints.

"Bison in Prince Albert National Park declining from overhunting: study" (CP, June 30, 2019)
"Overhunting of caribou an 'atrocity,' says Manitoba Dene chief" (CBC, Mar 15, 2016)
"Spike in illegal caribou hunting along ice roads in Northwest Territories" (National Observer, 2021/03/10)
"'Get the balance back': Amid seal and sea lion boom, group calls for hunt on B.C. coast" (CBC, Dec 01, 2018)
"B.C. group wants to kill seals and sea lions to save the whales" (CBC, Sep 12, 2018)

In North America, the fur trade predated European colonization. Indigenous communities seem to have participated willingly in this mass slaughter of wildlife. Once this trade was linked to the European and global market, it expanded to mass-industrial scales. Hopelessly unsustainable.

I'm going to go out on a limb here to offer that if everyone involved (rights holders, stakeholders, government, industry workers, protesters, supporters, scholars) understood that we (our species, and most others) are literally facing extinction — caught in the crosshairs of the climate, oceans and biodiversity emergencies that our insatiable globalized Western economy has led to — and that we must ALL be fighting together to protect the viability of our common biosphere, then there would be no question that "activists seeking to protect Canada's old-growth forest are aligned with First Nations."

Unfortunately, the existential ramifications of the terrifying and accelerating pace of 1) species extinctions, 2) the trifecta of ocean heating, acidification and de-oxygenation, and 3) the global heating that is spawning climate chaos are not widely known or understood. Clearcutting old-growth forests worldwide is one of the major causes of the crises we're in. The harm caused is irrevocable.

Responding to everything else in this article could take an essay, or a long night sitting together. But I want to believe that anyone who has deeply grasped what is happening to our whole species will want to align their efforts in order to safeguard the future for all the children, of all species, on this precious Earth. It might sound trite to say it, but there is no economy on a dead planet.

And the existential question is: Are we, as a species, worth saving? Is answering 'yes' just another anthropocentric vanity? The planet has been around for several billion years; hundreds of millions of years longer than humanity. The planet doesn't need us to save it and I'm not convinced that we are worth saving.

Pose that question to your grandchildren, Alan. "Hey, grandkids, are you worth saving? Is your future worth safeguarding?" And isn't this what life does? Doesn't every species act to protect its progeny (some more obviously than others ... thinking of Mother Bears here)? Answering yes to your question isn't "just another anthropocentric vanity," it's humanity finally recognizing our place in the web of life — a web that we're rapidly shredding. When you speak of the planet, do you mean the blue/green hunk of rock hurtling through space? Or are you picturing a beautiful planet covered with a glorious diversity of life? Here we are, extinguishing the very biodiversity that supports us ... and you're wondering if we're worth saving. Well yes, damn it, we are, because we have to "save the world" (all the other species) from the catastrophic impacts of the climate / oceans / biodiversity crises we've unleashed — even if it's our species' swan song.

What or who is *worth* saving is a matter of market economics. Thinking of other people's lives that way is not anyone's just purview.
Framing the survival (i.e., existence) of an entire species as a matter of some thinker's concept of worth is kinda what's wrong with where we're at right now and what got us here.
No, I think the existential question is not even Can we survive: it's what do we need to do Right Now, that we *can* do Right Now.
One of those things is to stop destroying all intact ecosystems. They cannot be replaced by tree plantations. It doesn't work that way.
Another is to stop investing time, effort, money and material resources in processes that need to stop growing now, and start declining immediately.
Another is to recognize what part our personal livelihood, habits, consumption and transportation contribute to the Whole, what of it is essential and what could be part of a personal carbon budgeting exercise.
(It's probably an awful lot less than the "per person" numbers that float around: those ascribe equal shares to each individual in the country of a whole lot of extraction and refinery activity, factory crop and animal farming for export markets.)

Amazes me all of it. Highly intelligent comments, kudos to you all. Seems we all feel the same pain with very good reason. At the current rate at which human kind is negatively compromising the well being of Mother Earth human kind will be extinct before we have any hope of colonizing another planet.

Fairy Creek is like a morning walk on the beach. You get up early to avoid crowds .. you come across WTH is that, yuk .. damn, keep going .. there’s another .. you lift your head, turn around, another, damn .. I’m going back.
At the end of the walk biological remnant on your tread echo a variety of piles of sh1t .. They all smell a little different, look different, different colour but still just the same, they ALL smell bad. The beach lost the sweet essence of a new day .. rather displayed was a remnant scared of a putrid aroma left by ignorance.

If there is any hope for Mother Earth is to exist with human kind, human kind must do a 180 and take care of our Mother. On the other hand quite possibly Mother Earth may see fit to simply abort us all.

Give it a millennia or two and try again, reptiles we’re getting too big and humans are a disease. We really don’t have much time to get it right folks before lots more will go wrong. COVID is a cake walk and we would do well to have our ear to the earth and listen hard and hear the tears of a labouring Mother Earth.

Think of it this way, every organism was designed to repair itself in responding to its environment. Mother Earth is our planetary organism, Earth is designed to sustain itself with or without human kind.
What’s your choice, we all have one?

I don’t think it is complicated. If society decides that a particular natural resource must be protected — for example old growth forests — then society must compensate the owner of that resource, whether it is a First Nation or logging company. If this is not done, then either the resource is lost or the owner is being exploited and will object. This principle applies to Canada’s forests just as it does to the Amazon’s jungles. Society is the people, so the people have to convince the government to protect the resource. It is an unfortunate truth that many owners of critical natural resources are not good stewards of those resources.