Avatar Grove must get saved

 

There’s a lot of nonsense and inaccuracies in Greg Klem’s confused letter (April 13)  about the Ancient Forest Alliance and Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce’s cooperative efforts to protect the Avatar Grove.

Avatar Grove is particularly valuable because it is the easiest to access monumental stand of ancient trees near Port Renfrew. Other old-growth stands are farther away along rough logging roads, on steep slopes.

 The thousands of visitors who’ve been there know it’s filled with majestic red cedars and Douglas firs, along with smaller hemlocks. The largest trees in Avatar Grove are about 14 feet in diameter, wider than my living room. You can see photos at www.ancientforestalliance.org/galleries.php  

A recent Forest Practices Board report notes that just one per cent of the Gordon Valley landscape unit consists of protected monumental trees over 400 years old. In addition, only about one-fourth or 4,000 hectares of the Gordon River’s 17,000 hectares is still old-growth, of which only half or 2,000 hectares are protected in Old-Growth Management Areas (OGMA’s).

Most of the Avatar Grove’s biggest trees were marked with “Falling Boundary” and “Road Location” ribbons for logging when we started to popularize the area last year. Only 24 per cent of Avatar Grove is within an OGMA, according to Forests Ministry statements.

Similarly, TimberWest flagged their private lands for logging right next to the old-growth fringe around the Red Creek Fir last year, but backed off when we made noise. That was followed by BC Timber Sales logging about 500 metres away. The sign for the Red Creek Fir has never been replaced by the government after being destroyed.

Our old-growth forests have much greater value still alive for tourism, wildlife, and the climate. Let’s sustainably log second-growth and protect the last bits of old-growth like the Avatar Grove. 

We’re proud to work with the many forward-thinking local business owners including the Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce who see a future in keeping the largest trees in Canada standing.

 

Ken Wu, Ancient Forest Alliance, 

Victoria

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Southern resident orca L41 considered missing and feared dead

The orca was last spotted in Aug. 2019 when photographed in western Strait of Juan de Fuca

WATCH: Sooke’s top stories

A round-up of this week’s top stories

West Shore Pickleball Association serves up idea for View Royal tennis court

‘We don’t have a place to call home’, says avid pickleball member

Indigenous youth arrested during 15-hour occupation to hold press conference Wednesday morning

The speakers are expected to condemn police, RCMP actions towards Indigenous people

Why one Langford teacher is giving his kidney to a stranger

‘You get butterflies in your stomach,’ says man who has had 12 reconstructive surgeries

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Off-duty Nanaimo Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Suspect attempted to steal Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen location on Sunday

Nanaimo man hit with pole in dispute over off-leash dog

RCMP say no charges recommended at this time

Was there a tornado on Vancouver Island Monday?

Suspected phone app glitch gives eerie warning

Work has started on Malahat Skywalk, expected completion in 2021

$15-million project expected to open in spring, 2021

Sooke Minor Fastball to host coaching clinic

Clinic ideal for those planning to coach U6 to U18 teams

POLL: Are you concerned about the coronavirus?

The coronavirus which has sparked concern around the globe has now arrived… Continue reading

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Most Read