For a comprehensive history of the evolution of Friends of Clayoquot Sound as an organization, check out our bio on Wikipedia.
Below are some of the milestones and significant successes in the history of FOCS and our ongoing mission to protect Clayoquot Sound from industrial exploitation:
1979 — Friends of Clayoquot Sound (FOCS) is founded as a non-profit society. Campaign begins to save Meares Island from logging by MacMillan Bloedel.
1984-1985 — FOCS and First Nations blockade MacMillan Bloedel from logging Meares Island (Canada’s first logging blockade). Company turned away. Court injunction granted, suspending logging on Meares to this day.
1988 — FOCS discovers illegal logging road in Sulphur Pass; 35 arrested during summer-long blockade. Road is stopped, thus allowing large Megin Valley wilderness to remain intact (Megin and adjacent intact valleys were designated provincial park in 1993). FOCS is first to call for an end to clearcutting and initiates a local “sustainable development” planning process (which is taken over by province and dissolves in disagreement in 1992).
1992 — Blockade at Clayoquot Arm Bridge of Kennedy Lake, 65 arrested, protesting MacMillan Bloedel’s logging at edge of intact Clayoquot River valley.
1993 — International campaign takes off with ad in New York Times and FOCS trip to Europe. FOCS and allied environment groups call for boycott of MacMillan Bloedel and other companies. Largest peaceful civil disobedience in Canadian history is sparked by BC government’s decision to log 74% of Clayoquot Sound’s productive ancient forest. FOCS opens Peace Camp at “Black Hole” clearcut. Daily blockades and arrests begin at Kennedy River Bridge. 856 arrested and charged and 12,000 participate during Clayoquot Summer ’93.
1996 — FOCS and Greenpeace takeover of Rankin Cove logging camp leads to First Nations-brokered truce between MacMillan Bloedel and environmentalists. Negotiations begin on protecting intact (pristine/unlogged) valleys in Clayoquot Sound from logging.
1997 — FOCS begins a fish farm campaign aimed at reforming open net-pen salmon aquaculture in Clayoquot Sound and BC.
1999 — FOCS helps to negotiate Memorandum of Understanding between four environment groups and Iisaak Forest Resources (the First Nations/MacMillan Bloedel joint venture logging company that replaced MacBlo). MOU commits Iisaak to protecting intact (unlogged) valleys in its portion of Clayoquot Sound. FOCS does not sign MOU in order to maintain its independent watchdog position.
2000 — Markets Initiative, a joint project of FOCS, Sierra Club and Greenpeace, begins a market campaign to shift North American companies, including book and magazine publishers, to using paper that is free of ancient and endangered forests fibre. The organization becomes independent and later changes its name to Canopy.
2001 — FOCS joins other BC groups in forming the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR) and engages in a market campaign against buying farmed salmon.
2004 — FOCS wins 5-year moratorium on logging in large intact valleys of Sydney and Pretty Girl from Interfor.
2006 — FOCS and five other groups working to protect Clayoquot’s intact valleys form Clayoquot Sound Steering Committee, later renamed Clayoquot Sound Conservation Alliance. Discussions continue with First Nations about protecting intact valleys via conservation investment.
2005-2008 — FOCS and allied groups pressure Interfor, Coulson and BC Timber Sales to prevent logging in five intact valleys.
2012-2013 — FOCS and allied groups get Iisaak to back out of logging in two intact areas.
2014 — FOCS supports Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in their opposition to Fandora gold mine. Imperial Metals backs down from exploratory drilling this year.
And no doubt more to come!