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Monday Hits The Road To See Avatar Grove

Jason Youmans, Monday Magazine, April 1, 2010

Monday Hits The Road To See Avatar Grove
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An ancient western red cedar growing in Avatar Grove near Port Renfrew, BC, is being called "Canada's Gnarliest Tree"
Photo from Monday Magazine

Last weekend, Monday hit the road with environmentalist Ken Wu and the Ancient Forest Alliance (along with 80 other curious community members) to pay a visit to what the AFA is calling "Canada's gnarliest tree." The giant Western Red Cedar is found about 10 kilometres north of Port Renfrew in the Gordon River Valley. The tree itself has a diameter of 12 feet at its base, while the giant burl that makes it a truly "gnarly" tree is about 10 feet in diameter. The tree is located among a stand of about 100-or-so ancient Western Red Cedars. Discovered by AFA members in February, a return visit a few weeks later showed the area is slated for logging, with many of the trees spraypainted, and the boundaries of what the AFA calls "Avatar Grove" marked off with flagging tape. Far easier to reach than the few other remaining old growth stands on the South Island, the Ancient Forest Alliance is calling for protection of the grove, and pushing its marketability as an eco-tourism destination. "The most important thing right now is to ensure that the Avatar Grove is not turned into a sea of giant stumps in the near future. The BC Liberal government needs to take action to protect this incredible ancient grove and the remaining endangered old-growth forests in southern BC before they are destroyed. British Columbia’s old-growth temperate rainforests, with their four meter wide ancient trees draped in moss and ferns and its incredible wildlife, are the real Pandora here on Earth,” says Wu.


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