Located in Tla’amin First Nation territory, outside the town of Powell River, the Eldred Valley is legendary among rock climbers for its towering granite peaks while also supporting some of the last vestiges of old-growth forest in the region. These magnificent groves are home to monumental western redcedars and Douglas-firs, and provide critical habitat for wildlife in the valley.
Industrial forestry has been exploiting this region since the 19th century, clearing out entire valley bottoms and lower slopes. Targeting the last unprotected groves demonstrates the extreme lengths that logging companies will go to. Local climbers and the qathet Old-Growth group have been advocating for protection of the remaining old-growth forests and the valley is becoming a renowned climbing destination, opening the door for ecotourism.
Most recently, the BC government has identified a number of at-risk ancient groves in the Eldred Valley for potential logging deferrals, including some of the forest pictured here. Significant funding for First Nations is now urgently needed to make these deferrals possible.
The BC government must step up and commit at least $300 million dollars in provincial funding to support Indigenous Protected Areas to permanently protect old-growth forests and sustainable economic alternatives for First Nations communities.
Considering Powell River has been largely dependent on forestry for over 100 years, the BC government also needs to swiftly provide the resources to help transition communities such as this one away from the unsustainable harvesting of endangered old-growth to a sustainable, value-added second-growth forest industry.
Send a (NEW!) instant message to the BC government to demand funding for conservation solutions here: https://ancientforestalliance.org/funding-send-a-message/