TMX tree cutting stopped until August, 130 days - Press Release

Protect the Planet
Anna’s hummingbird in her nest. Nests are under 4 cm in diameter, made of feathers, moss and lichen and bound together by spider webs. Photo credit: @pacificnorthwestkate
​PRESS RELEASE, April 23, 2021

TMX tree cutting stopped until August, 120 days

April 23, 2021, Unceded Coast Salish Territories (Burnaby, BC): A stop work order has been issued for Trans Mountain Canada’s Brunette River site, segment 7 of the TMX pipeline route. From April 12th until August 20, 2021 no more tree cutting is permitted in the area effectively blocking construction along the route in Burnaby. The stop order comes as a relief to the Community Nest Finding Network (CNFN), a community group that alerted Federal Wildlife Officers in early April with concerns about non-compliance to the Migratory Birds Convention Act.

On March 13 and 23, and again on April 12th, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (ECCC) sent enforcement officers to a Trans Mountain (TM) pipeline construction site to respond to community concerns about ongoing tree cutting around active bird nests. ECCC verified active nests of Anna’s hummingbird, a species afforded protection under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and its regulations. Other migratory birds and their nests were identified, too, e.g., Song Sparrow, Pine Siskin, American Robin and Black-capped Chickadee. On April 12th, enforcement officers witnessed the felling of a tree with a hummingbird’s nest in it.

In violation of paragraph 6(a) of the Migratory Birds Regulations, ECCC issued verbal and written compliance orders to Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC on April 12 and 16th, respectively. According to ECCC, “this order is in full force and effect until August 20, 2021”. The order calls for the immediate stop or shut down of any activities that are likely to result in nest disturbance and destruction, including tree trimming and tree felling that may require the use of heavy machinery, bulldozers, chainsaws, etc.

The forest in question stretches 1,000 meters within the area bounded by Highway 1 to the north, North Road to the east, and the CN rail line to the south. This is the same area that has been occupied by a series of tree sits since August 2020. According to a member of the CNFN, "The quality of habitat in this forest is exceptional - not at all degraded - which makes it all the more tragic to see it clear-cut”. Unfortunately, many species in BC have little protection and no rights. Provincial protection does not exist, and the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) only covers federal lands, or about one percent of the province. Further, SARA only applies to species with recovery plans, which is not the case for many threatened species.

Another CNFN member states, “This is such a busy time for birds! We confirmed 8 active nests on this site, but there are likely many more. While it's a relief that tree-cutting has been stopped here, we can’t help but think about all the other nesting sites along the 1,500 km of this pipeline route, and whether they could be protected.”

A press conference will take place on Monday April 26 at 10:00 featuring the Community Nest Finding Network and spokespeople from representative First Nations. A media advisory will be released on the day with details.


For more information on penalties related to Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 visit the website:


For previous press releases and background information on the site, visit the website:


Media contacts:

Sara Ross (Co-founder of CNFN, Nest Finder, Burnaby Mother): 778-898-0464

Donna Clark (Nest finder, former Director of Wild Bird Trust of BC): 778-879-3711


For more information:



Tweet: @PPSTMX1

YouTube: Protect the Planet Stop TMX




The Community Nest Finding Network includes registered Biologists who conduct nesting surveys professionally, Nature Educators trained in bird behaviour and observation, a Reverend who is also a bird photographer, and the former Director of Wild Bird Trust. Many supporters are contributing virtually, and the network is expanding rapidly to cover other parts of the province impacted by the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline project.


The $12-18 billion TMX pipeline project was purchased from Texas oil giant Kinder Morgan by the federal government in 2018. Costs have ballooned since the purchase. The global market for heavy crude is tanking: no one wants this dirty fuel. The project is opposed by the Squamish-, Tsleil-Waututh- and Secwepemc Nations, as well as Coldwater Indian Band, who were denied leave to appeal by the Supreme Court of Canada. TMX conflicts with Canada's commitment to keep global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degree Celsius as per the Paris Climate Agreement we’ve signed. The project would impact numerous drinking water sources along the route, Burrard Inlet and Tsleil-Waututh, Qayqayt and other First Nations, Burnaby Mountain and Simon Fraser University. It would also spell a 7-fold increase in tanker traffic in the Burrard inlet and an increased threat to the endangered Southern Resident Orcas. The Province of British Columbia, the State of Washington, several indigenous nations and 20 municipalities along the route oppose the pipeline project.


The existing Trans Mountain pipeline is already a major environmental and public health hazard with a long history of disastrous spills. In June 2020, 50,000 gallons of crude spilled from a pump station above an aquifer that supplies the Sumas First Nation with drinking water. At the pipeline terminus, new storage tanks are being built. When added to the thirteen existing 67-year old tanks they will be so close together that the Burnaby Fire Department says it will be impossible to put out a tank fire. 240,000 people live within the 4.2 km radius of the site that is considered an evacuation zone, including 32,000 members of the SFU community. A growing number of insurers have pulled out of the pipeline project; those still involved are facing pressure to withdraw coverage. In November 2020, the Canada Energy Regulator released a report stating that there is no need for any pipeline expansion if Canada takes measures it has committed to internationally to curb GHGs. Beginning in Sept. 2020, economists warned that the Trans Mountain project is no longer financially viable; in March 2021, resource economist, Thomas Gunton showed Canada would lose billions even after construction. Indigenous groups, as well as the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls have pointed out the connection between resource extraction man-camps and violence against Indigenous women.


The Cities of New Westminster and Burnaby officially oppose the pipeline. The coalition of environmental groups supporting the Brunette protection camps includes, but is not limited to, Mountain Protectors, Protect the Inlet, Coast Protectors, Extinction Rebellion Vancouver, Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE), Climate Convergence, Dogwood, Burnaby Climate Hub, Wilderness Committee and Colony Farm Regional Park.

Media contacts:

Sara Ross (Co-founder of CNFN, Nest Finder, Burnaby Mother): 778-898-0464

Donna Clark (Nest finder, former Director of Wild Bird Trust of BC): 778-879-3711

[Top photo: Anna’s hummingbird in her nest. Nests are under 4 cm in diameter, made of feathers, moss and lichen and bound together by spider webs. Photo credit: @pacificnorthwestkate]