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No logging plans near giant fir: TimberWest

By Judith Lavoie, Victoria Times Colonist, March 6, 2010

Flagging tape in the immediate vicinity of the world's largest Douglas fir does not mean the area will be logged in the near future, according to forest company TimberWest.

The marked cutblock, less than 100 metres from the Red Creek Fir, was found by members of the Ancient Forest Alliance who say that if surrounding trees are cut, the 74-metre tall tree will be in danger of blow-down.

The tree is 15 kilometres east of Port Renfrew.

The flagging tape is on TimberWest private land, although the Red Creek Fir is on Crown land. Company spokeswoman Sue Handel said the tape does not necessarily indicate harvesting plans.

"We use it in many ways -- to determine boundaries and what we have on the land base as assets," she said.

"We don't have any immediate plans for harvesting in the area. In the next year or two, it's not in our short-term harvesting plans."
TimberWest is aware of public interest in the Red Creek Fir and is planning to improve access to the area, Handel said.

Part of the trail leading to the tree is on TimberWest land, so the company is looking at an access agreement with the province and possible "parking opportunities," she said.

However, members of the Alliance are skeptical about the company's long-term plans and want to see the surrounding area protected to ensure the tree survives.

"We believe it is the B.C. Liberal government's obligation to protect the surrounding Crown lands and to purchase the adjacent private lands to protect the ecosystem where the Red Creek Fir survives," said Ken Wu. "That would ensure the area's integrity for biodiversity, tourism, recreation and other important values."


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