Posts

Ancient Forest Alliance Campaigner & Photographer

Logging Battle Looms as New Road is Pushed into one of Greater Vancouver’s last Lowland Old-Growth Forests – Echo Lake east of Mission

For Immediate Release Conservationists and local landowners are reacting with alarm as a new logging road by C&H Forest Products has progressed over a kilometer into the contentious old-growth and second-growth forests north of Echo Lake as a precursor to logging three planned cutblocks there. Echo Lake includes some of the last unprotected lowland old-growth forests in the Lower Mainland. It is renowned as the world’s largest night-roosting site for bald eagles, with hundreds of eagles roosting in the old-growth trees around the lake on some nights during the fall salmon run, and is home to much wildlife and several species at risk. The area is also part of a Community Drinking Watershed for local residents and is in the traditional, unceded territory of the Sts’ailes First Nation band, who run the Sasquatch EcoLodge and whose members run eagle watching tours nearby. See a recent drone video taken at Echo Lake: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfLbzncf9Us And the original campaign video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPstV14oZ6s

New Drone Video of the Endangered Echo Lake Ancient Forest released

Today the Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA) has released a new HD video that includes spectacular drone footage in the endangered old-growth forests around Echo Lake, between Mission and Agassiz, east of Vancouver.

Echo Lake’s Old-Growth Forest and Eagle Roost Under Threat!

Here's a new article written by the AFA's Ken Wu for the Footprint Press, a naturalist/ environmental magazine serving the eastern Fraser Valley, about the endangered Echo Lake Ancient Forest east of Mission. While the south and west sides are protected by an Old-Growth Management Area, the north side and also the central "ancient redcedar valley" with the largest old-growth trees are all open for logging. So far the road-building has not begun, but many of the ancient trees have been spray-painted and surveyed for future cutblocks. Photos by the AFA's TJ Watt.

Please SEND A MESSAGE to Protect Echo Lake Ancient Forest! www.ProtectEchoLake.com

Hi friends, please take 1 MINUTE to send a new message to the BC government to protect the imminently endangered old-growth redcedars at Echo Lake – some of which are 12 feet wide! Echo Lake is an extremely rare, lowland old-growth forest about 2 hours east of Vancouver between Mission and Agassiz, in Sts’ailes First Nation territory. The area is home to numerous species at risk, is part of the drinking watershed for local people, and is also the world’s largest night-roosting site for bald eagles, with 700+ eagles seen roosting in the old-growth trees around the lake on some evenings during the fall salmon run. The construction of a new logging road is imminent, while initial surveying of the giant cedars for logging has already begun. See the recent media release at https://ancientforestalliance.org/news-item.php?ID=1023 and SEND A MESSAGE to protect this unique area at www.ProtectEchoLake.com

The fight to save Echo Lake’s old trees and wildlife has begun

Here's a new story in today's Globe and Mail about the old-growth forest campaign, spearheaded by local landowners Susan and Stephen Ben-Oliel and supported by the Ancient Forest Alliance, to protect all of the forests in the mountains surrounding Echo Lake (a rare lowland old-growth forest between Mission and Agassiz in Sts'ailes territory, and also the world's largest night-roosting site for bald eagles) from logging: “Echo Lake is home to the largest night-roosting site for bald eagles on Earth,” said Mr. Wu, who in 2012 launched a campaign to save the area, then slated for logging. In 2013, the British Columbia government set aside 55 hectares, protecting just over half the old-growth cedars and Douglas firs around the lake. Mr. Wu wasn’t satisfied and since then has been pushing for the addition of another 40 to 60 hectares to the reserve, which would protect the key eagle area. “That would get the bowl, essentially the mountain and forest that rings Echo Lake. So it should be a no-brainer at this point,” he said.

Rare Lowland Old-Growth Forest at Risk – Road-building and Logging Surveys Underway at Echo Lake, the World’s Largest Night-Roosting Site for Bald Eagles, east of Vancouver

Road-building is scheduled to begin this week and preliminary logging surveys of the old-growth redcedars are underway by Echo Lake, an extremely rare, lowland old-growth forest about 2 hours east of Vancouver between Mission and Agassiz. Echo Lake is part of the drinking watershed for local people, is home to the largest night-roosting site for bald eagles on Earth, and harbours much wildlife including bears, cougars, bobcats, wintering black-tailed deer, osprey, numerous bats, and various Species at Risk. Local landowners and conservationists are redoubling efforts to convince the BC government to protect the endangered north and west sides of the lake.

Clear-cutting threatens Echo Lake eagle colony (includes VIDEO and PHOTO GALLERY)

Every fall, hundreds of eagles descend upon the Fraser Valley to roost in the treetops surrounding Echo Lake. Experts say there is no other place like it in the world. “This is eagle central. It’s the place that if you want to protect the largest concentration of raptors on earth, this is just about it here,” says Ken Wu of Ancient Forest Alliance....  The fight continues to protect old-growth forest from logging. While the B.C. Government announcing 55 hectares were protected as old growth management areas, there are still 40 hectares that fall under a woodlot license.

Echo Lake home to diverse and endangered species

“These biodiversity surveys show that protecting all of Echo Lake’s surrounding old-growth and mature forests is important not only for saving the largest night-roosting site for bald eagles on Earth, but also for a large diversity of other species, including many species at risk,” stated Ken Wu, Ancient Forest Alliance executive director. “And these new findings are just the tip of the iceberg from just a single weekend of surveys – future surveys will undoubtedly turn up much more. It further re-enforces the fact that it should be a no-brainer for the BC government to protect all of Echo Lake’s surrounding forests.”

Race is on to save Fraser Valley’s bald eagles, Echo Lake old-growth forest

"Up to 700 bald eagles roost in a small grove of old-growth trees around Echo Lake in the Fraser Valley each fall. Does this sound like the kind of place that should be logged?...When salmon return to spawn, the eagles spend their days feasting on fish on the river banks, then, just as darkness descends, fly up to roost in the towering Douglas firs and cedars surrounding Echo Lake...Mr. Ben-Oliel, with support from the Ancient Forest Alliance, started a campaign in 2012 to save the Echo Lake forest. In 2013, the government protected 55 hectares – just over half the old-growth around the lake. But Mr. Ben-Oliel is horrified the plan still allows about 40 hectares of old growth and mature forest to be logged on the north and west sides of the lake."

A Northern Red Legged-Frog spotted during the Echo Lake Bio-Blitz. (listed as a species of Special Concern by COSEWIC and Blue-Listed or threatened provincially)

Diverse and Endangered Species found at Echo Lake Ancient Forest near Vancouver

Mission, BC - A biodiversity survey (ie "Bio-Blitz") of an extremely rare but endangered, lowland old-growth forest between Mission and Agassiz (about a 2 hour drive east of Vancouver), the Echo Lake Ancient Forest, famous for its bald eagles, has revealed that it is also home to a large diversity of flora and fauna. This includes many species at risk such as various species of bats, frogs, snails, dragonflies, and moss. The surveys, conducted over a weekend last year by biologists and naturalists, and coordinated by the Ancient Forest Alliance, have now been compiled and will be submitted to the BC Ministry of Environment’s Conservation Data Centre and Wildlife Species Inventory. Over 2 days, approximately 174 plant, 55 vertebrate, 153 invertebrate, and 38 fungi species were found around Echo Lake.