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News Release: Splatsin Supports Old-Growth Deferrals

SECWEPEMCÚL’ECW (SECWEPEMC TERRITORY)  – Splatsin te Secwepemc supports the BC Timber Sales (BCTS) decision to defer harvest of 14 proposed cutblocks in Argonaut Creek near Revelstoke, B.C. This comes one year after BCTS committed to halting 276 hectares of proposed logging in the area until provincial mountain caribou herd planning concluded. Splatsin officials say the decision is a step in the right direction, but work must continue to protect the old-growth interior temperate rainforest and vital caribou habitat.

“Argonaut Creek and other nearby areas require further discussion with regards to caribou habitat and cultural and traditional values,” said Wayne Christian, Splatsin Kukpi7 (Chief) and Shuswap Nation Tribal Chief. “We want to protect these areas long-term, not just until caribou herd planning has concluded.”

Christian noted that other at-risk areas of concern are the Seymour, Blais, and Ratchford drainages for their importance to caribou habitat, food, medicine, and the overall health and resilience of the ecosystem.

“There are also many areas in between the proposed deferred cutblocks that do not necessarily possess old-growth characteristics but provide vital habitat and connectivity for southern mountain caribou. British Columbia, Canada, BC Hydro, and other proponents operating in the territory need to invest not only financial resources but also long-term planning resources for the continuation of the Maternity Pen for our relatives the Caribou.”

Splatsin has ordered BCTS to cease all operations in the Argonaut and Bigmouth areas on numerous occasions and joined forces with First Nations, environmental organizations and land defenders last summer to advocate for change and prevent further logging in the area.

Splatsin urges the Province of British Columbia’s review of old-growth forests to align with the United Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the recommendations of the Gorley-Merkel Old Growth Strategic Review report, and to protect the remaining Old Growth forests that support critical habitat of endangered southern mountain caribou.

Article 24 of UNDRIP states ‘Indigenous peoples have the right to their traditional medicines and to maintain their health practices, including the conservation of their vital medicinal plants, animals and minerals.’


The Splatsinac (Splatsin People) reside on reserve lands adjacent to the City of Enderby to the south and across the Shuswap River to the east, within the traditional and unceded territory of the Secwépemc, the largest Interior Salish-speaking First Nation in Canada. Their traditional territory stretches from the B.C./Alberta border near the Yellowhead Pass to the plateau west of the Fraser River, southeast to the Arrow Lakes, and the upper reaches of the Columbia River encompassing 180,000 square kilometres, 32 communities, and a population of 15,000 people. The Splatsin and Secwépemc has total jurisdiction and title to all of their people, lands, and resources and have not surrendered, ceded, or released them to the government.


Media Contact:

Dudley Coulter, Director of Communications
o (250) 838-6496 ext. 705
c (250) 306-1541
e [email protected]

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