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Vancouver Island Big Trees celebrates the Pacific Coast forest, the tallest and densest forest on earth. These unique temperate rain forests have largely been deforested over the past 150 years of European settlement. So little is left that it is possible to foresee a time in the near future when the mighty forest will officially be "subdued".

My hope is that this blog will demonstrate to the world the beauty that we are destroying and are at risk of losing forever. Extinction is not a temporary event, and many living things that require old growth ecosystems to survive are going the way of the giant trees. Cutting old growth does not make ecological sense, and current practices are questionable from an economic perspective as well.

Over the past few years I have been exploring southwest Vancouver Island looking for, and photographing big trees. The area's parks, wilderness, and rural landscapes provide ample opportunities to enjoy trees and forests unique to the coast. Even urban areas harbour notable impressive trees and patches of old forest. Victoria is also one of the best places to see exotic species such as the Giant sequoia, Coast redwood, and many others.

Big trees on Sooke Basin near Roche Cove Park

I encourage the collective caretakers of these trees (the citizens of B.C., and the world) to get out and enjoy, the big trees and ancient forests that remain. I believe that once people see and experience these special places they will be motivated to protect them for future generations of living things, including us.

If allowed by our inaction, government and industry will exploit the remaining old growth, and the biological richness of the ancient forest will be lost. Much of the former forest has been replaced by tree plantations (also called fiber farms) that use mechanical and chemical methods for optimizing profit. These are not forests in the true sense of the word - they are 'managed' tree farms.

We are all on the branch
"Clear cutting in old-growth forests, that have accumulated carbon for thousands of years, is pushing species to extinction. Vancouver Island has the most forest ecosystems at a very high risk for species extinction and the lowest level of overall protection -- only 13.2 per cent. Making matters worse, about 45 per cent of the 42,000 hectares of new Vancouver Island Old Growth Management Areas, although a step in the right direction, consists of poor-productivity ecosystems. Vancouver Island belongs in the intensive care unit. It is in the worst shape with the risk of species extinction and protection of productive ecosystems."  - Jens Wieting, coastal forests campaigner for Sierra Club B.C. and author of the group's report, "Restoring the Balance for Climate and Species."

Thank you for visiting Vancouver Island Big Trees.

Note: The photographs on this blog were taken by me, unless otherwise stated.