In May 2019, the Ancient Forest Alliance visited the town of Tahsis on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island in Mowachaht/Muchalaht territory to see first-hand the old-growth forests previously at risk of being logged by Western Forest Products. 

On Day 2 of our visit, Mayor Martin Davis, local community members, and AFA campaigners hiked into an old-growth forest on the steep hillside directly above town. This old-growth forest hosts scores of ancient Douglas-firs – of which only roughly 1% remain in British Columbia and is an important firebreak to the town below (meaning that old-growth forests can slow or stop the spread of forest fires).

For years, the Tahsis community pushed to protect its surrounding old-growth forests, including the McKelvie Valley watershed, with the hope to emulate Port Renfrew’s success by promoting ‘big tree tourism’. Thankfully, in 2021, the town and Western Forest Products (WFP) signed a Letter of Understanding, where WFP has agreed to not harvest in the McKelvie area, making it safe from logging!

Hats off to Mayor Martin Davis and the village of Tahsis for their years of hard work in advocating for the protection of this special place and to the thousands of you who sent in letters. This is the direction we need to be going in terms of old-growth conservation and the BC government must step up and do its part to help facilitate this by helping finance Indigenous Protected Areas and supporting First Nations land use plans and sustainable economic alternatives to transition away from old-growth logging. They could begin by supporting the “Salmon Park” proposed by Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations in Nootka Sound.

Please take a moment to send a message calling for these measures and more.

See our Community Spotlight video on Tahsis.