Action Alert! Canada’s Finest Grove of Old-Growth Cedars under Threat – Speak Up!

Sep 10, 2012 | Take Action

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Canada’s Finest Grove of Old-Growth Cedars under Threat – Speak Up!

Citizens are still waiting for a promised new “Legal Tool” to protect BC’s largest trees and monumental groves – let’s start with the Castle Grove!

Recently, survey tape for logging was discovered in the Upper Castle Grove in the Walbran Valley on Vancouver Island – that is, in Canada’s finest stand of monumental old-growth red cedar trees.  The Castle Grove is an extensive stand of densely-packed enormous cedars which includes the “Castle Giant”, a 16 foot (5 meter) diameter cedar in the Lower Castle Grove that is one of the largest trees in Canada. The flagging tape for the potential logging comes to within 50 meters of the Castle Giant.

The Grove is jam-packed with wildlife and species at risk and is “ground zero” for the ancient forest movement on southern Vancouver Island.

It must not be logged! Please speak up to defend the best of the best ancient forests in Canada!

See the recent Times Colonist and Vancouver Sun articles at: and

See new, incredible PHOTOS of the Castle Grove and the “falling boundary” survey tape at: and a beautiful photogallery of the Walbran Valley at:

So far the logging licensee, Teal-Jones, has not applied for a cutting permit for the surveyed cutblock, but if they do it will be a relatively quick “rubber stamp” from the Forest Service before they can log the Upper Castle Grove.

The Ancient Forest Alliance is calling on the BC Liberal government to protect the area using a long-promised (but as yet unrealized) “legal tool” to protect BC’s largest trees and monumental groves.

See the BC government’s announcement in February, 2011, about creating a new legal tool to protect BC’s largest trees and groves:
Vancouver Sun and Times Colonist: “B.C. looking for new ways to protect ancient trees” (Feb.16, 2011)

SPEAK UP for CANADA’s FINEST ANCIENT FOREST!!  WRITE to the BC Liberal Government and to the NDP Opposition!

Cc your email to:

Please tell the above politicians that you want them to commit to:

– Use their promised new “legal tool” to protect the Castle Grove in the Walbran Valley on Vancouver Island, including the Upper Castle Grove that is currently flagged for logging and other exceptionally grand old-growth groves in BC.

– Implement a Provincial Old-Growth Strategy that will protect the remaining old-growth forests in regions of the province where old-growth forests are now scarce, such as on Vancouver Island, in the Lower Mainland, the southern Interior, etc.

– Protect BC forestry jobs by ensuring the sustainable logging of second-growth forests and by ending raw log exports to foreign mills.

***Be sure to include your full name and your home mailing address so they know you’re a real person! Thank you!


The Castle Grove (Lower and Upper) is the most impressive stand of unprotected monumental ancient red cedars in Canada. The Grove is in the Walbran Valley and is ‘Ground Zero’ for the ancient forest movement on southern Vancouver Island – both historically and today. Because it’s Canada’s finest stand of endangered old-growth red cedars, it has been the focal area for ancient forest campaigns for decades. The Walbran Valley was the focus of early protests against old-growth logging in 1991 and 1992, playing an important role in the build-up towards the massive Clayoquot Sound protests near Tofino on Vancouver Island in 1993.

In February 2011, former Minister of Forests Pat Bell promised that the BC Liberal government would implement a new legal tool to protect the largest trees and associated groves. So far BC citizens have waited for over a year and a half for the BC Liberal government to implement this legal tool. Of all places, the Castle Grove is THE place where such a legal designation would make most sense. Otherwise the BC Liberals’ rhetoric has been as empty as a clearcut.

To date, the BC Liberal government under the new Minister of Forests Steve Thomson has not publicly followed through with this promise, although sources within the ministry have indicated that the BC government is now looking at using existing legal tools, namely provincial Recreation Sites and Old-Growth Management Areas, to fulfill this function.

It doesn’t matter if the BC Liberal government uses new or old tools to protect our endangered ancient groves like the Castle Grove. The main thing is they need to actually start identifying and designating such areas for protection, otherwise it was simply an empty promise for PR purposes at the time, and hollow promises like that won’t go unnoticed by the conservation movement during this pre-election period. More importantly, the BC Liberal government needs to implement a much more comprehensive Provincial Old-Growth Strategy to protect old-growth ecosystems on a much larger scale across BC.

Ecological surveys done in the Castle Grove have revealed the presence of threatened marbled murrelets, screech owls, Queen Charlotte goshawks, red-legged frogs, cougars, black bears, and black-tailed deer in the Upper Castle Grove, while steelhead and coho salmon spawn in the Walbran River below the Castle Grove.

On southern Vancouver Island south of Barkley Sound and Port Alberni, satellite photos show that over 87% of the original, productive old-growth forests have already been logged (the rest mainly being second-growth forests now and some urban/agricultural areas). See maps and stats here.

The Ancient Forest Alliance is calling on the BC Liberal government and the NDP Opposition to commit to implementing a BC Old-Growth Strategy that will inventory and protect old-growth forests wherever they are scarce (such as on Vancouver Island, in the Lower Mainland, in the BC Interior, etc.). The AFA is also calling on the BC Liberal government to ensure the sustainable logging of second-growth forests, which constitute most of the forests in southern BC, and to ensure a guaranteed log supply for BC mills and value-added wood manufacturers by ending the export of raw logs to foreign mills.

Old-growth forests are vital to sustain endangered species, the climate, tourism, clean water, wild salmon, and the cultures of many First Nations.


Working to protect BC’s endangered old-growth forests and ensure a sustainable, second-growth forest industry.