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Posted December 22, 2010

Avatar hopes high in Port Renfrew chamber

Itís been a year since an area known as Avatar Grove, near Port Renfrew, has become more widely known.

Jim Sinclair - Sooke News Mirror, December 21, 2010

Avatar hopes high in Port Renfrew chamber
Click for larger image

CRD Director Mike Hicks and son, Juan De Fuca NDP MLA John Horgan, and Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce member Jon Cash visit 'Canada's Gnarliest Tree' in the Upper Avatar Grove while calling for protection of the entire Grove.
Photo by TJ Watt

It’s been a year since an area known as Avatar Grove, near Port Renfrew, has become more widely known.

To mark the first anniversary of the discovery of the groves by the Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA), the Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce is adding its voice to the chorus calling for the grove’s long-term preservation.

The grove has been the subject of a couple of features in the Sooke News Mirror, most recently, a front-page placing on the October 6, 2010 issue. On that occasion a reporter was along for the ride with the AFA’s TJ Watt and Ken Wu, plus the MLA for Juan de Fuca, John Horgan and CRD Juan de Fuca Regional Director Mike Hicks for a tour of the grove.

The AFA has since planned a monthly schedule of tours to introduce more people to the location where giant cedar, fir and spruce trees dwell. A place the AFA is determined to preserve.

The grove is only minutes from the Village of Port Renfrew – proximity the local Chamber president feels is an important and valuable local asset.

Over and above an existing desire to see the trees spared from the chainsaw, Betsworth feels they are a draw for visitors, and can grow in that capacity.

“Avatar could be the difference between Port Renfrew surviving or not,” she said on December 18.

“Right now we’re dealing with problems in our fishing industry... with cutbacks in salmon and halibut quotas. We went through that last year and it’s not looking very good for this coming year. That’s a trickle down effect – leading to less accommodations needed, fewer restaurant visits. In my opinion keeping Avatar Grove alive, as well as the rest of our hiking trails and surfing, could be our saviour.”

The Ancient Forest Alliance is calling on the B.C. government to protect remaining old growth forests.

 

See original article here: http://www.bclocalnews.com/vancouver_island_south/sookenewsmirror/news/112262034.html


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