Name: Cameron Valley Ancient Forest/Cameron Valley Firebreak
Location: Central Vancouver Island (near Port Alberni).
Size: 150 hectares
Public/Private Land: Private (owned by Island Timberlands)
Photo Gallery: www.ancientforestalliance.org/photos/cameron-valley-firebreak/
Just a half hour drive from Cathedral Grove is an ancient forest that is just about as impressive – the Cameron Valley Ancient Forest or “Firebreak.” This area is a valley-bottom-to-mountain-top old-growth Douglas-fir forest that was originally left as a moist, old-growth rainforest firebreak to stifle the spread of forest fires raging through the dry clearcuts. It was supposed to have been protected as an Ungulate Winter Range for the legions of magnificent Roosevelt elk and black-tailed deer that live here. Unfortunately, in 2004 the BC Liberal government environmentally deregulated the area by removing it from the Tree Farm Licence, allowing Island Timberlands to log about one-third of its 150 hectares recently. The BC government must take responsibility for their actions and help purchase and protect this truly exceptional area, while Island Timberlands must commit to staying out of the remaining old-growth forest until it can be purchased.