clearcut - old growth tree - stump
Home | Sign Online Petition | Download Petition | View Signatures | Forest News AFA Photo Gallery | Ancient Forest Alliance Site

British Columbia Ancient Forests News

Back

Posted July 18, 2011

Meet Cheewhat, Canada’s largest tree — and help the alliance keep giants like it safe

Tucked deep in the Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island sits the Cheewhat cedar, Canada’s largest tree.

The Province, July 16, 2011

Meet Cheewhat, Canada’s largest tree — and help the alliance keep giants like it safe
Click for larger image

The Cheewhat Giant 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).
Photo by TJ Watt

Tucked deep in the Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island sits the Cheewhat cedar, Canada’s largest tree.

“It’s like arriving at a small planet. You wouldn’t know it was there driving along a logging road unless someone showed you the spot,” said Ken Wu, co-founder of the Ancient Forest Alliance, an organization focused on protecting old-growth forest and promoting sustainable forestry jobs.

“Luckily, it’s in the borders of a national park that was made 40 years ago.”

The giant western red cedar reaches 56 metres high and spans six metres around, containing enough wood to make 450 telephone poles. It’s accessible by a logging road and by hiking in.

“It must be close to 2,000 years old,” Wu said.

While Parks Canada celebrated 100 years protecting trees like the Cheewhat Saturday, Wu said large stumps littering the area around the park are a sign that more needs to be done to save others like it.

“A lot of people think logging of old growth has ended, when it’s actually the norm on public land on B.C.’s coast,” he said.

“We’re saying that the collapse of the ecosystem as a result of resource depletion also results in the collapse of rural employment in those industries. We’ve seen it in fisheries and we’ve seen it actually happen over a 20-year span now with the collapse of coastal forestry employment.”

Instead, the organization advocates for the logging of second-growth forest where trees have been re-planted, “like the rest of the country and the rest of the world is doing,” Wu said.

Hannah Carpendale, outreach co-ordinator with the alliance, said it’s jarring travelling from the protected park to the areas that have been clear-cut. “Sometimes it’s hard to take it all in, the amount that’s been lost,” she said. “It’s not just the trees, it’s the entire ecosystem and everything that comes with it.”

The group has launched a petition in support of their cause and “have thousands of supporters now,” Wu added.

So far, the provincial government has said they’re considering increasing protection for old-growth forest and some of the largest trees near Port Renfrew.

Wu grew up in the prairies of Saskatchewan, where “you could hug a tree with one hand,” but has lived on the island for the past decade.

He became fascinated with old-growth trees as a 10-year-old when he saw a photo of six people dancing on a large stump.

“It blew me away that we had trees like that. Then I found out we still do,” he said. “You’ve got some of the biggest trees in the world [around the Pacific Rim Park], and some of the biggest stumps.”


Link to original news article: http://www.theprovince.com/travel/Meet+Cheewhat+Canada+largest+tree+help+alliance+keep+giants+like+safe/5114186/story.html#ixzz1SVaaILU7


Top | Back

 

 

Home | Sign Online Petition | Download Petition | View Signatures | Forest News | Ancient Forest Alliance Site

Copyright © 2009- Ancient Forest Alliance. All Rights Reserved.
Site developed by Mountain.Web | Photos by TJ Watt