Avafraud Grove

I must say congratulations to the Ancient Forest Alliance and Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce marketing of the area as Canada’s Big Tree Capital. Port Renfrew definitely is.

Unfortunately, much of the campaign has been based on misinformation, falsehoods and “spin.” The “Avatar Grove” is neither ancient nor endangered. The handful of damaged, old survivors are surrounded by 100-year-old diseased hemlock that grew after a major windstorm. The area is in a riprarian zone (protected), has culturally-modified trees and the logging company has no interest in logging it. Seems protected.

The AFA keeps saying we need to raise awareness about endangered, old-growth forests and get the government to establish old-growth management areas where trees will be valued and protected. Done deal. Looking at a B.C. Timber Sales map of the area, I stopped counting when I reached 40 such old- growth management areas. This is on top of provincial ecological reserves in the area along with two major federal and provincial parks. So, I disagree with the notion we need more parks in the area, especially stretching to the already protected giants in the area.

Another falsehood presented by the AFA is the notion that the San Juan Valley is a wind tunnel, the Red Creek fir is endangered by recent cuts over two kms away and that the sign there was destroyed due to government negligence. The sign was destroyed by the giant tree aging. Its top and giant branches have been falling for decades and make excellent platforms to view this dying giant. Another notion is that if we don’t save Avatar, we won’t get another chance like this for 1,000 years. Funny, since second growth forests start taking on old growth characteristics at 250 years.

Ken Wu’s opening statement, “can you believe we are still logging old growth trees in this day and age.” Yes, I can, since it is the highest quality wood and commands much higher prices than second growth which is currently over 80 per cent of the cut.

Come out to Renfrew and enjoy the friendly people, giant trees and ocean adventure. Go to Avafraud Grove, keep driving by the fresh old-growth cut at Salamander Creek which the AFA has done nothing to stop (some trees must be more equal). Look across the road at Mount Edinborough and the hundreds of hectares of prime old- growth pipes above the road that are protected. Enjoy.

Greg Klem

Edge of the World Tours

Port Renfrew