A precedent-setting court case involving the destruction of historic old trees in northwestern B.C. has resumed in Terrace. A salvage operator has been charged with cutting down the culturally modified trees.

They are estimated to be more than 300 years old, and have special significance to First Nations people in the area.

An archaeologist has testified that aboriginal people peeled back the bark or marked the trees, at a time when few Europeans had even set foot in western Canada.

George Halpert was charged last year under the Heritage Conservation Act. The charges are the first of their kind under the new legislation.