For Immediate Release
April 20, 2012
Ancient Forest Alliance identifies Canada’s 8th widest known Douglas fir, the “Clark Giant”, found in the unprotected Christy Clark Grove.
Victoria, British Columbia – In honour of Earth Day this Sunday, the Ancient Forest Alliance is naming a recently found grove of unprotected, near record-size old-growth trees on Vancouver Island the “Christy Clark Grove” after BC’s premier. The group hopes the new name will motivate Premier Clark to protect the grove and develop a plan to protect endangered old-growth forests across BC instead of supporting their continued destruction. Federal College Grants
See spectacular images at:https://www.
The Christy Clark Grove includes a near record-size Douglas-fir tree 10 feet wide in trunk diameter (31 feet circumference), making it Canada’s 8th widest known Douglas fir tree in relation to the trees listed in the BC Big Tree Registry (see https://bigtrees.forestry.ubc.
Last week the BC government released its “BC Forest Strategy” (https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/
“BC’s Forest Strategy continues the generally unsustainable status quo – what we really need is a BC Old-Growth Forest Strategy. The coastal forest industry’s twenty year decline is essentially driven by unsustainable resource depletion, where the biggest, best valley-bottom ancient trees have been largely logged-off, leaving the industry with diminishing returns as the trees get smaller and more expensive to reach high up the mountainsides,” stated Ken Wu, Ancient Forest Alliance campaigner. “We need the BC government to show real leadership and end the War in the Woods by saving our endangered old-growth forests and facilitating a sustainable, value-added second-growth forestry transition.”
Most disturbing in the BC Forest Strategy report is reference to maintaining the timber supply for BC interior mills reeling from the industry’s unsustainable expansion in recent years to take advantage of the pine beetle infestation – but now afflicted by declining timber volumes due to overcutting and decomposing beetle-killed trees. A leaked cabinet report last week revealed that in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region the BC government is now considering the possibility of opening protected old-growth forests (Old-Growth Management Areas), wildlife protections (Wildlife Habitat Areas) , scenic protections (Visual Quality Objectives) and other forest reserves for logging to keep supplying the interior logging industry at an unsustainable pace.
“There’s no bloody way the BC Liberal government is going to open up protected wildlife habitat, scenic corridors and old-growth forest reserves for logging without a hell of a fight from BC’s conservation movement and tourism industry,” stated Wu. “That’s an absolute no-go for us.”
In addition, one year ago the BC government promised to create a new legal tool to protect BC’s largest trees and monumental groves – so far nothing has materialized. Such a tool could be used to protect the Christy Clark Grove. See: https://www.
More importantly, the BC government has so far failed to undertake any new province-wide plans to systematically protect BC’s endangered old-growth forests, but instead continues to use highly misleading statistics that lump-in vast tracts of marginal, stunted “bonsai” forests in bogs and on subalpine mountain tops (not under threat of logging in general) with BC’s productive (ie. large trees, faster growth rates, where logging occurs) but endangered old-growth forests in order to inflate the amount of old-growth forests remaining.
“Releasing stats that combine stunted, marginal forests in bogs and high altitudes with our endangered, productive old-growth forests where the giant trees grow is like including your Monopoly money with your real money and then claiming to be a millionaire,” stated TJ Watt, AFA co-founder.
Both Quebec and Ontario have committed to protecting 50% of their boreal forests, which constitute the vast majority of the land in those provinces.
The Ancient Forest Alliance is calling on the BC government to undertake a Provincial Old-Growth Strategy to protect BC’s endangered old-growth forests, ensure the sustainable logging of second-growth forests, and to ban raw log exports to ensure a guaranteed log supply for BC mills. Old-growth forests are important to sustain endangered species, BC’s multi-billion dollar tourism industry, clean water, the climate, and many First Nations cultures.