Protect the endangered old-growth forests of British Columbia and ensure sustainable forestry jobs in the province
 
Ancient Forest Alliance News
ancient forest alliance bc - old growth forest
space
AFA Menu
space
space
left edge

Back

Protection of Avatar Grove will boost tourism

“Eventually we would like to see it as a legislated park or conservancy,” said Wu.

Sooke News Mirror, February 22, 2012

Protection of Avatar Grove will boost tourism
Canada's Gnarliest Tree in Avatar Grove
Photo by TJ Watt

Ken Wu called it a “campaign on steroids,” and Rose Betsworth called it a “soft approach,” but whatever it was called, the provincial government listened.

 On Feb. 16, Steve Thomson, Minister for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, announced that all of Avatar Grove is now protected from harvesting.

 Wu, co-founder of the Ancient Forest Alliance, said he would like to commend the B.C. government for protecting this key old growth forest.

 “Eventually we would like to see it as a legislated park or conservancy,” said Wu.

 Rose Betsworth, president of the Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce is understandably pleased. For her community it means Avatar Grove will be made more accessible with upgrades to the trails and tidying up the area leading to increased tourism to the area.

 “Now we can make it better for everybody... we can put a trail in and do upkeep,” said Betsworth.

 She said the Ancient Forest Alliance had the right approach which was a soft one where they educated people and gained respect out of that. The AFC included forestry workers and the small business community’s comments and concerns in their efforts to save the grove.

 “They’re not a bunch of radicals,” said Betsworth in referring to the way the AFA conducted their campaign.

 The campaign led to a public review and comment period during the fall of 2011, where 232 out of 236 comments expressed support for preservation of the grove.

 The unique stand of old-growth cedar, 15 minutes from Port Renfrew, is now protected in an expanded old-growth management area, totaling 59.4 hectares,

 TJ Watt, the other co-founder of AFA, came across the grove in December 2009, popularized it and began the goal of preserving the monumental stand of valley-bottom ancient red cedars and Douglas fir.

 “We commend the B.C. government for protecting this key tract of extremely rare valley bottom ancient forest - virtually all of the valley bottoms on southern Vancouver Island where the biggest trees grow have been logged, literally 95 per cent of them, ” stated TJ Watt. “At the same time, thousands of hectares of old-growth forests are being logged every year on Vancouver Island, and millions of hectares of old-growth forests are endangered across B.C. Our main goal is to see a new provincial plan to protect all of B.C.’s endangered old-growth forests and to ensure a sustainable second-growth forest industry instead.”

 To fulfil the province’s obligation to Teal-Jones Group, which holds the logging rights for Tree Farm Licence 46 where Avatar Grove is located, the boundaries of other old-growth management areas were adjusted by removing 57.4 hectares. They were compensated with 30 hectares of second-growth forests and 27 hectares of old-growth.

 “We’re opposed to compensation for the company, as they don’t own the land or the trees on Crown lands – all they have are access rights to the resource through their license. If government enacts conservation regulations to protect deer or trout in areas where their populations are down, those with hunting or fishing licenses don’t get compensation for not being able to take all the deer or trout in those areas. Neither should logging companies on publicly-owned Crown forests,” said Ken Wu.

The province states in their press release, “Of the 862,125 hectares of old-growth forests on Crown land on Vancouver Island, it’s estimated that over 520,000 hectares will never be harvested.”

Read the article in the Sooke News Mirror:  http://www.sookenewsmirror.com/news/139871533.html


 


Top | Back

 

right edge
left edge

Home | News | Store | Photo & Video | Resources | Donate | Write a Letter | Ancient Forest Petition | About | Contact

Ancient Forest Alliance · Victoria Main PO, PO Box 8459, Victoria, BC, V8W 3S1 Canada · 250-896-4007 · info@ancientforestalliance.org

afa logo tree top
bottom corner

Protect the endangered old-growth forests of British Columbia and ensure sustainable forestry jobs in the province

afa logo tree trunk
 

Copyright 2009- Ancient Forest Alliance   All Rights Reserved
Site developed by Larry Moss | Photos by TJ Watt | Logo by Alicia La Rue

 
space