4/08/2013

Getting Naked For Old Growth Preservation

Julianne Skai Arbor hugs the San Juan spruce, Canada's largest Sitka spruce tree
near Port Renfrew. - TJ Watt photo
The naked tree hugger strikes again. And this time local photographer and big tree activist TJ Watt was there to record the sighting.

Judith Lavoie of the Times Colonist writes:

Arbor, a 43-year-old California college professor who teaches environmental conservation, travels around the world photographing herself naked with old or endangered trees. She is lending her support to the Ancient Forest Alliance’s efforts to push the B.C. government into coming up with a strategy to protect big trees and remaining patches of old-growth forest. 
“The most fragile ecosystems that are still intact should be put aside,” said Arbor, who posts photos of her tree travels on her treegirl.org website and is writing a book about her love of big trees. 
“It’s amazing for me to see the forests on this Island and I wonder how the people who live here can watch the cutting of the forest. There is only so much you can do before it’s gone.”
Read Lavoie's whole article here.

The San Juan spruce is Canada's largest Sitka spruce, and the second largest in the world. It grows in relative obscurity in the San Juan Forest Recreation Site next to the San Juan River. It is about a 35 minute drive from the former logging town of Port Renfrew.

The massive tree is 62 meters (205 ft) tall, 11 meters (38.3 ft) in circumference, and has a crown spread of over 23 meters (75 ft). The centuries old column of wood has a volume of 333 cubic meters.

This amazing old growth tree does not have official protected status, so it is fitting that the team of Julianne Arbor, TJ Watt, and the Ancient Forest Alliance have come together to keep ancient, disappearing, and at-risk forests and trees in the news.

You can read more about the San Juan spruce in our post here. You will find driving directions, and photographs of the tree. Thankfully, there are no pictures of me doing any naked tree hugging. I am not nearly as photogenic as Ms. Arbor.

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