Canada’s most famous old-growth forest, Cathedral Grove, has been visited by millions of people around the world. Sadly, due to inaction by the BC government, the mountainside above this world-famous grove, Horne Mountain, has been clearcut by Mosaic (previously Island Timberlands). This has fragmented extremely rare and endangered ancient Douglas-fir stands, of which 99% have been logged on BC’s coast, and will likely adversely impact the park below through increased erosion and siltation.
The destruction of Mt. Horne illustrates the urgent need for the BC government to establish a Natural Lands Acquisition Fund to purchase and protect endangered ecosystems on private lands. Unlike public lands, private lands must be purchased at market value in order to be protected. While the BC government failed to act for Mt. Horne, they can and must take responsibility for environmentally deregulating vast sections of forest lands around Port Alberni in 2004 including McLaughlin Ridge, the Cameron Firebreak in Hupacasath territory, and Katlum Creek, and protect these areas that were originally supposed to be saved as old-growth winter range for deer and/or elk, and for species at risk.
TAKE ACTION: Please email Environment Minister George Heyman, telling him the BC NDP must commit dedicated funding for a provincial land acquisition fund: [email protected].
Photography by TJ Watt.