These shocking photos reveal “old-growth carnage” in the famed Nahmint Valley as trees upwards of 9 ft (3 m) wide and more than five hundred years old are logged in spring/summer 2024 near Port Alberni in Hupačasath, Tseshaht, and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ territories on Vancouver Island, BC. The logging, which spans roughly 17 hectares, or 31 football fields, was planned and approved by the BC government’s logging agency, BC Timber Sales. See our media release here.

This ancient forest was home to enormous old-growth western redcedars and rare old-growth Douglas-fir trees. Within the cutblock, conservationists also documented what appears to be the first-known observation of old-growth specklebelly lichen, a species at risk, in the Nahmint Valley.

Despite significant strides in the past year toward the greater conservation of old-growth forests in BC, the destruction in the Nahmint is fresh evidence that significant policy and funding gaps remain that the BC NDP government must swiftly address. Most critical is the need for “ecosystem-based” protection targets that aim new protected areas at the most at-risk ecosystems, such as the big-tree old-growth forests.

It should also be noted that the only path to fully protecting old-growth forests in British Columbia is via First Nations consent and shared decision-making, including on lands managed by BC Timber Sales. However, the BC government can and should facilitate that process by allowing the addition of misidentified at-risk old-growth stands (such as this one) into logging deferral areas, providing at least $120 million in deferral or “solutions space” funding to First Nations to facilitate the protection of these stands, and proactively engaging First Nations about potential Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas in the high conservation value areas in their territories.

BC Timber Sales already has additional cutblocks planned in the Nahmint Valley, an area renowned for its emerald green river, record-sized old-growth trees, diverse wildlife, and high recreational values. It is also legally designated as a Special Management Zone to help safeguard biodiversity. Premier Eby must act swiftly before more irreplaceable ancient forests are lost forever.

SPEAK UP! Send an instant message to the BC government calling for the protection of endangered old-growth forests: