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Grove Saved?

Speaking of those pesky environmental issues, Port Renfrew’s beloved Avatar Grove may have made some exciting headway with the BC Liberals this past week

Monday Magazine - Danielle Pope, February 16, 2011

Grove Saved?
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A waterfall cascades through the old-growth redcedars in the endagered Avatar Grove.
Photo by TJ Watt

Speaking of those pesky environmental issues, Port Renfrew’s beloved Avatar Grove may have made some exciting headway with the BC Liberals this past week, when Minister of Forests, Mines and Lands Pat Bell announced that he is considering protecting the endangered area.

“Certainly we have been hearing the message . . . that we should be considering some tools, perhaps new tools that we could use when particularly unique trees are identified. They may be individual trees or small areas like the Avatar Grove that provide incremental value over and above the timber resource value,” Bell told media.

Ken Wu, long-time environmental and grove advocate with the Ancient Forest Alliance, says that credit must be given to Bell’s advancements, but that B.C. still has a long way to go yet.

“There’s the real possibility of policy change right now with B.C. being leaderless,” Wu says. “Bell is saying he may open some doors, but we’re going to have to wait and see."

Wu says the province is still in need of protection on three levels: individual trees, groups (like Avatar Grove) and large forested areas.

“We did bust our asses on this campaign, but the grove speaks for itself . . . when you get business affiliates — like the Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce — calling for its support, that’s when you see the BC Liberals listen.”

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