Ecoterrorists have threatened the lives of loggers by spiking hundreds of trees, an irate local MLA says.
"This disgusts me," said Barry Penner, the Liberal representative for the Chilliwack-Kent area 60 kilometres east of Vancouver.
Workers at Cattermole Timber found more than 100 spikes in wood from Elk Creek, a controversial logging site, when they put it through saw blades at two Lower Mainland mills.
"The lives of innocent, law-abiding workers have been endangered by these extreme and illegal actions," Mr. Penner said.
"I've already spoken directly to B.C.'s Attorney-General, Geoff Plant, and he feels a criminal investigation is warranted."
Mr. Penner yesterday called on the Green Party, the New Democratic Party and environmentalists to join him in denouncing the sabotage.
Anti-logging protests have been frequent around the more than 100 hectares of forest at Elk Creek.
Environmentalists say it's home to rare birds, including the spotted owl.
The Western Wilderness Committee says the area is also an important spiritual and cultural rain forest for local native groups.
Demonstrators, many from the Cheam band, staged a major effort in October to try to stop loggers.
Last year, the district forest manager approved a limited amount of harvesting in an area representing 5 per cent of the Elk Creek forest. Many trees in the logging zone were left standing and no old-growth trees were cut.
According to an economic model used by the Ministry of Forests, logging activities approved for Elk Creek will provide approximately 49 person-years of employment.
Mr. Penner blames the NDP for ratcheting up tension over the issue. He said that if the party disagrees with the logging it should do the responsible thing and appeal it in court.
Green Party Leader Adriane Carr said she could never condone ecoterrorism as dangerous as tree spiking, but she said Mr. Penner should start listening to all the people in his riding who want to protect Elk Creek.
"I condemn violence of any sort, including loggers beating up on peaceful protesters, which has happened in B.C.'s history.
"What I call on Barry Penner to do is to listen to the public who want this the gem of Elk Creek saved. It is equal to Stanley Park and Cathedral Grove and it would be just a wonderful protected area in the Upper Fraser Valley."