Environmental groupsin British Columbia are warning there could be a new "war in the woods" now that tens of thousands of hectares of Clayoquot Sound have been opened to logging.
"This is our worst nightmare," Tzeporah Berman, program director of the group ForestEthics, told CBC News.
The logging decision affects 90,000 hectares of pristine forest on the west coast ofVancouver Island, much of which had remained untouched.
The land was reopened to possible logging in a decision last week by the provincially appointed Clayoquot Sound Central Region Board. The board and fiveNuu-chah-nulth nations agreed to a new watershed management plan that could include road-building and logging.
"We've signed a memorandum of understanding with the First Nations agreeing there would never be logging,"Berman said.
Berman, who helped organize the original blockades, warned reporters thelogging decision could trigger a new wave of protest.
"I hope it's not going to come to that," she said.
Clayoquot Sound was the site of massive demonstrations in 1993 when environmentalists— angry with both logging companies and the provincial government — attempted to block roads in an effort to keep loggers away. The summer protest became known as the war in the woods.
The protestors also called for an international boycott of B.C. forest products.
More than800 people were arrested and thousands came from around the world to take part in the largest organized act of civil disobedience ever witnessed in the province.
In 1999, an agreement was reached laying outwhich areas in Clayoquot could and could not be logged. However, that agreement has evolved over time leading up to last week's decision.