A recent trip to an area along the Gordon River less than 10kms away from the town of Port Renfrew BC, exposed the recent cutting of massive old-growth redcedars. Multiple stumps from trees up to 15ft in diameter were found in a clear-cut at the base of Edinburgh Mountain. These trees can be upwards of 1000 years old and even though some may be hollow in the center, they are still healthy and able to grow for some hundreds of years more. The hollow centers can also play a key role in providing shelter for animals such as bears, cougars, deer, etc.
To date, Vancouver Island has lost over 75% of its productive old-growth forests including 90% of the valley bottoms, where the biggest trees and richest biodiversity are found. Its exactly this type of landscape - the flat, gentle, low-elevation terrain in which these giant stumps have been found. This area shows what is still allowed to happen throughout BC with the BC Liberal forest policy that denies old-growth forests are endangered.
Taking ancient forests with trees ranging at times anywhere from 1 day to 1000+ years old and converting them into second-growth tree plantations with typically an 80-100 year cut cycle does not replicate the original ecosystem structure. Old-growth forests typically exhibit much different characteristics such as rich understories due to the open canopies, well developed epiphyte colonies, standing dead wood and large woody debris on the ground, and 2-3 times better carbon storage.
The fact that in 2010 we are still finding fresh stumps such as the one above measuring 46ft around shows that government and industry are intent on taking BC's unprotected ancient forests right to the end of the line. A recent study in BC has shown that dipping below the 30% mark of intact old-growth habitat creates a high risk for species loss. To help make a difference in our endangered forests please visit the Ancient Forest Alliance - www.ancientforestalliance.org and sign the petition at www.ancientforestpetition.com You can also write a letter to Premier Gordon Campbell - firstname.lastname@example.org , Minister of Forests Pat Bell - email@example.com , and Times Colonist news editors - firstname.lastname@example.org
Map of the area. Note - Satellite photos show the area as still being forested since the trees were cut within early 2010.
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