"CALGARY, Alberta - Nolan Paquette started working part-time at his local sawmill more than 20 years ago while still at school, pushing a broom on the clean-up team. Now 38, Paquette drives trucks and operates machinery at the same Western Forest Products-owned mill in Duke Point, Nanaimo, the third generation of his family to work in forestry on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island.
He is one of 38,000 workers in Canada’s westernmost province whose job, according to the industry, depends on the logging of towering old-growth trees, such as cedars, Douglas firs and western hemlocks aged at least 250 years, and in some cases more than a thousand.
The dispute over felling British Columbia’s ancient forests has been thrust into the limelight by a months-long blockade of private logging company Teal Jones in the Fairy Creek watershed on western Vancouver Island. Protests that started last August have intensified in recent weeks, leading to more than 150 arrests."