One Of The Last Of Its Kind

Question: Was this photo taken in 1814 or 2014?
Photo credit: TJ Watt, AFA

The following was taken from the Ancient Forest Alliance Facebook page.

Question: Was this photo taken in 1814 or 2014?

Answer: Sadly, just last week.

AFA's TJ Watt snapped this quick self portrait beside a near-record-size Douglas-fir tree that was left standing alone in an old-growth clearcut not far from Port Renfrew on southern Vancouver Island. Giant stumps litter the surrounding area.

Less than 1% of the original old-growth Douglas-fir trees remain on Vancouver Island after a century of logging and this may be one of the mightiest left of its kind - now left highly vulnerable to blow down.

What BC needs are ancient forests, not ancient policies, like those which allow for the destruction of these last endangered areas. But we'll need your help getting there.

You can start by signing and sharing our petition at www.AncientForestPetition.com or sending a letter to BC politicians here www.ancientforestalliance.org/write-letter.php and then be prepared for a very busy 2014!

Thank you!!


Front Yard Flotsam

This large cedar that washed out of the Sooke River stayed hung up on a sandbar before salvagers came,
cut off the root end, and hauled the log away.

After having one of the driest fall seasons on record on south Vancouver Island, we recently experienced a record-breaking rainfall in a 24 hour period. When winter rainfalls coincide with seasonal high tides, the flotsam factor in my front yard increases dramatically.

It is exciting to see huge logs and whole trees float by during these winter freshets. Some of the debris is dislodged from area beaches by extra high tides, but much of the tree debris is sourced up the Sooke River which enters the harbour along Billing Spit's western shore.

Most of the tree debris gets washed out to sea, or gets hung up on a new beach somewhere. Some middle sized logs get hung up on sandbars in the harbour and stay until the next high tide or heavy rainfall.

Some of the larger logs stay around for years, perhaps decades. When these get stranded on a sandbar in the harbour they are heavily used by wildlife. Eagles perch and eat their prey on the large debris. River otters also love to play on the tree debris in the harbour.

This large Douglas fir log has been on the beach for a decade or more. Only the most extreme
tides and weather will move it off the beach.

Really big logs that get hung up on the sandbars will bring out the salvagers, or beachcombers as they are also called. Using giant chain saws, they remove the root ends of large trees, and use small boats to float the lucrative wood to where they can transfer it to land for milling.