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Posted July 16, 2011

Parks Day Alert: Video clip of “Canada’s Largest Tree” and old-growth logging by Pacific Rim National Park Reserve released today

The Ancient Forest Alliance released a new video clip on Parks Day today about the threats to the ecological integrity of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and the surrounding old-growth forests.

Ancient Forest Alliance Media Release, July 16, 2011

Parks Day Alert: Video clip of “Canada’s Largest Tree” and old-growth logging by Pacific Rim National Park Reserve released today
Click for larger image

Ancient Forest Alliance's Hannah Carpendale stands beside a 14ft diameter redcedar stump that was cut this year in 2011 in the Klanawa Valley in Tree Farm License 44 (held by Western Forest Products) adjacent to the West Coast Trail unit of the Pacific Ri
Photo by TJ Watt

For Immediate Release

Saturday, July 15, 2011

Parks Day Alert: Video clip of “Canada’s Largest Tree” and old-growth logging by Pacific Rim National Park Reserve released today

The Ancient Forest Alliance released a new video clip on Parks Day today about the threats to the ecological integrity of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and the surrounding old-growth forests.

See the clip “Canada’s Largest Tree – the Cheewhat Cedar” at: http://youtu.be/Xw2Im8nSOdg  

The clip was posted on the organization’s website (www.ancientforestalliance.org) and Facebook profile today, which is the 100 year anniversary of the federal national parks agency Parks Canada (founded in 1911, 26 years after the first national park was created, Banff National Park in Alberta) and the 100 year anniversary of BC’s provincial parks (Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island was created in 1911).
The clip features Canada’s largest tree, a western redcedar named the Cheewhat Giant growing in a remote location near Cheewhat Lake within Pacific Rim National Park Reserve north of Port Renfrew and west of Lake Cowichan. The tree is over 6 meters (20 feet) in trunk diameter, 56 meters (182 feet) in height, and 450 cubic meters in timber volume (or 450 regular telephone poles worth of wood). Luckily the tree, discovered in 1988, is within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, which was created in 1971.

The video clip also features new clearcuts and giant stumps of redcedar trees, some over 4 meters (14 feet) in diameter in the Klanawa Valley adjacent to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and also near the Carmanah-Walbran Provincial Park (in the Nitinat Lake/Rosander Main region) logged in 2010 and 2011.

Extensive logging of the last unprotected old-growth forests is taking place adjacent to the national park in the “West Coast Trail Wilderness” of the Klanawa Valley, Nitinat Lake region, Rosander Main region, Upper Walbran Valley, Gordon River Valley, Hadikin Lake region, San Juan Valley, and a lot of other areas as the market for western redcedar rebounds after the last recession.

“Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is a very narrow, linear park just a couple kilometres wide along much of the West Coast Trail unit that is threatened by logging of adjacent unprotected ancient forests. Nearby old-growth logging threatens the park’s ecological integrity by silting up salmon streams that run into the park, diminishing the contiguous wildlife habitat, and undermining the wilderness experience for hikers who often hear the roar of chainsaws through the narrow buffer of trees along the trail,” states Ken Wu, Ancient Forest Alliance co-founder. “However, more importantly the last unprotected ancient forests in the Upper Walbran Valley, Klanawa Valley, and Gordon River Valley where the Avatar Grove still stands are literally the grandest forests left in Canada. They must be protected, and we need a forward thinking government to do so.”

Former Juan de Fuca Member of Parliament Keith Martin proposed to include the adjacent old-growth forests of the Avatar Grove, Red Creek Fir, San Juan Spruce, Walbran-Carmanah Valleys, Klanawa Valley, the Juan de Fuca Trail and adjacent lands, and endangered ecosystems at Mary Hill and Race Rocks within an expanded Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

“Former Member of Parliament Keith Martin had a very visionary proposal to expand Pacific Rim National Park Reserve to enhance its ecological integrity and to protect the adjacent old-growth forests on southwestern Vancouver Island. I hope that other politicians will rise to the challenge to protect old-growth forests with the vision that Keith Martin set in motion,” states TJ Watt, Ancient Forest Alliance co-founder. “Future generations will look back at the majority of BC’s politicians today who still sanction the elimination of our last endangered old-growth forests on Vancouver Island, despite the second-growth alternative for logging, and see them as lacking vision, compassion, and a spine. We desperately need more politicians with courage and wisdom to step forward.”

Satellite photos show that about 75% of the original, productive old-growth forests on Vancouver Island have been logged, including 90% of the valley bottoms where the largest trees grow and most biodiversity is found. On southern Vancouver Island, south of Barkley Sound, about 87% of the original, productive old-growth forests have been logged.

See “before” and “after” old-growth forest maps at: http://www.ancientforestalliance.org/old-growth-maps.php

See other Ancient Forest Alliance’s Youtube Clips of Canada’s largest trees near Pacific Rim National Park Reserve at:

- World’s Largest Douglas Fir – the Red Creek Fir: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfBWLVj-Xjg  

- Canada’s Largest Spruce – the San Juan Spruce: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lql9_hWuFLA&NR=1  

- Canada’s Gnarliest Tree – Save the Avatar Grove: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_uPkAWsvVw  

See spectacular photo galleries of Canada’s largest trees at:

http://www.ancientforestalliance.org/galleries.php  


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