CHEK News – Cathedral Grove Threatened by Logging

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Conservationists are calling for much stronger, comprehensive old-growth protection policies in BC after having discovered a major logging threat to Canada's most famous old-growth forest, Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. Conservationists came across survey tape marked “Falling Boundary” and “Road Location” in an old-growth Douglas fir and hemlock forest only 300 meters from the park boundary last week. See photos and a map (based on some GPS points) at: The planned cutblock by Island Timberlands is about 40 hectares and lies within an area formerly intended for protection as an Ungulate (deer) Winter Range. It lies on the southwest facing slope of Mt. Horne on the ridge above the park and highway that millions of tourists pass through each year. Logging the area would further fragment the forest that is contiguous with the small park, destroying an important wildlife corridor from mountain ridge to valley bottom in an area that conservationists once hoped the park could include for the deer winter range. The logging would also threaten eco-tourism in the area, by destroying a major section of the popular hiking trail, the Mt. Horne Loop Trail, which the cutblock overlaps. The Ancient Forest Alliance is calling on the BC Liberals and NDP to commit to a provincial plan to protect the province's old-growth forests, to ensure sustainable second-growth forestry, and to end the export of raw, unprocessed logs to foreign mills. For private lands, the organization is calling for a provincial “park acquisition fund” of $40 million/year to purchase endangered ecosystems on private land for protection, similar to the park acquisition funds of various regional districts, like the Capital Regional District around Victoria.

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