|Tofino Creek, Clayoquot Sound, Vancouver Island, Garth Lenz|
The devastation in the photo above documents an "alternative logging operation" in 1991 at Tofino Creek, Clayoquot Sound, on Vancouver Island. It became widely seen as a poster for a Greenpeace campaign to end clear cut logging.
More recently, ancient forest campaigner TJ Watt added to the documentation of the end of the ancient forest. He took the award-winning photo below near the big tree town of Port Renfrew.
Valley: Bugaboo Creek in the Gordon River Valley
Region: Port Renfrew area, Vancouver Island
Ancient Forest Alliance, of which Watt is a co-founder, is the fastest growing environmental group in Canada. The dedicated and hard working organization is "working to protect the endangered old-growth forests of BC, and to ensure sustainable forestry jobs in the province". See more of Watt's work, along with an interview here.
The Sierra Club images below graphically illustrate why so many people are concerned about old growth forests on Vancouver Island and the BC mainland coast. They highlight the vanishing forest, which by the way, happens to be a global phenomena.
About half of the worlds forests have been similarly affected. "The clearing of the forests has been one of the most historic and prodigious feats of humanity."
Click on images to enlarge.
|Forest cover prior to European settlement (click to enlarge)|
|The 10,000 year old forest after 144 years of exploitation|
British Columbia's mainland coastal forests, and Haida Gwaii have also been the target of industrial logging interests over the past century and a half.
|It is time to end old growth logging in BC's forests|
Vancouver Island Forest Facts (source: AFA)
The most recent photo analysis based on 2004 LandSat satellite images shows that:
- 73% of the original productive old-growth forests of Vancouver Island have been logged. ie. 27% remained by 2004.
- 87% of the original productive old-growth forests on southern Vancouver Island, south of Barkley Sound/Alberni Canal, have been logged. ie.13% remains
- 90% of the low elevation (less than 300 meters above sea level), flat (less than 17% slope) ancient forests, such as the valley bottoms, where the largest trees grow and the greatest biodiversity resides, have been logged. ie. 10% remains
- Only 6% of Vancouver Island's productive forest lands are protected in our parks system.
- Only 1% of the original old-growth Coastal Douglas fir zone remains.
- Less than 1% of the original very dry eastern Coastal Western Hemlock forests are protected.
- Only 2% of the original very dry western Coastal Western Hemlock forests are protected.
|Carmanah Valley, Vancouver Island, Garth Lenz|
Carmanah/Walbran Provincial Park is reached via a rough logging road, and is in a remote and rugged location. It is worth every bit of effort to visit this amazing place and witness some of the largest and tallest trees on earth.
There are more old growth forests like the Carmanah Valley that need our help. The following immediately come to mind, although there are more that I will be writing about in future posts:
- Mary Lake, Highlands District
- Muir Creek, west of Sooke
- Avatar Grove, Port Renfrew
- Clayoquot Sound, Tofino
- The Great Bear Rainforest, mainland coast
- Flores Island, Tofino
Honourable Christy Clark, Premier
PO BOX 9041 STN PROV GOVT