The Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce says that the ongoing old-growth logging protests out at the Fairy Creek encampment are having a negative impact on the local business community.
The Chamber of Commerce suggests that the long-term media attention of some of the clashes between protestors and RCMP are starting to take a toll on the image of the region and factoring into people’s decision on visiting the area.
“While the overall protection of these magnificent and treasured old-growth forests are integral to the environment and our brand, the way in which this is being carried out is not conducive to the betterment of Port Renfrew,” reads a statement from the Chamber.
Avatar Grove has previously been a popular destination that drew tourists from across Vancouver Island and beyond, however, the Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce believes that the protests are raising safety concerns for potential visitors.
The release from the Chamber of Commerce comes just a few days after videos surfaced online of RCMP deploying pepper spray on a group of protests, depicting rising tensions between the two sides.
While the Fairy Creek blockades are nearby to Port Renfrew, the Chamber is pushing the message that the area is still safe and open to visitors.
“The Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce would like all visitors to know, both Port Renfrew and Avatar Grove are safe and easily accessible without passing close to the protestor encampment,” says the Chamber.
“There is a visitor check-in point 2.5 kilometres from the Avatar Grove location. Other than this one brief check-in, visitors can enjoy an amazing Avatar Grove “old-growth experience” at their convenience.”
The Chamber is hoping that it can make the information available to potential visitors that the area still remains open without disruption from the Fairy Creek blockade.