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No Charlie Brown Tree

Danielle Pope, Monday Magazine, December 22, 2010

No Charlie Brown Tree
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"Canada's Gnarliest Tree" still stands in the Upper Avatar Grove after being discovered just 1 year ago. If protected from logging, the Grove will be the 'gift that keeps on giving'.
Photo by TJ Watt

O’ Christmas tree! O’ Christmas tree! Thy status is so precarious—at least if you’re the gnarly old beauty celebrating your one-year birthday in Avatar Grove. But this season isn’t just a time to celebrate: it’s time to get serious about conservation efforts, according to the Ancient Forest Alliance.

“The grove really is the Christmas gift that keeps on giving. Protect it for generations to come, and you’ll be aiding everything from the tourism industry to first nations groups, the environment and more. Cut it down, and you’ll have to wait another 1,000 years to have a chance at something this powerful again,” says the alliance’s TJ Watt.

Watt, who originally found the site while hiking with a friend, has since joined other members in helping with the campaign by taking photos and leading hikes to the area. He says it’s a great relief to see the infamous gnarled tree still standing after one year, but knows the grove isn’t out of the woods yet—literally. Currently, the section of crown land is still zoned as tree farm 46 log-able property, despite the fact that the public, advocates and politicians have called on the B.C. Liberals to adjust the land use orders to protect the area.

“Right now, with all the changes in government for both the NDP and Liberals, we have a fantastic opportunity for seeing some real progressive policies on all sides,” says Ken Wu, alliance head and long-time enviro-advocate. “If Avatar Grove falls, rest assured we’ll make sure the BC Liberals do too. The community is behind this, and we’re all calling for its protection—now, even more than before.”

To check out the grove yourself, hop on board a tour in the new year: ancientforestalliance.org

 

Link to original article: http://mondaymag.com/articles/entry/the-week-december-23/


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