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Posted April 1, 2010

Old-growth forest worth preserving

Letter to the Editor

Bruce H. Foerster, Times Colonist, April 1, 2010

Old-growth forest worth preserving
Click for larger image

A large burly alien-shaped red cedar growing in the logging-threatend Avatar Grove near Port Renfrew, BC.
Photo by TJ Watt

I had the pleasure last Sunday to experience the small grove of old-growth trees near Port Renfrew known informally as the Avatar Grove.

This amazingly rare site, which comprises approximately10 hectares, holds some of the oldest and largest trees remaining on Vancouver Island, some of which are 10 or more metres around and stand 30 metres or more tall, many 500 to 800 years old. I was shocked and deeply saddened to see survey tape surrounding the grove, including tape that indicated a proposed new logging road, as well as cut lines.

It is extremely important that this small grove of trees is preserved, as it is one of the last such stands of ancient old-growth trees on the Island. With the recent decline in fishing, Port Renfrew is in serious need of additional sites that will attract tourism, and the Avatar Grove would be an ideal addition to what they offer the travelling public. Acquiring this grove of trees would be a win for all concerned, especially our children -- who we are forcing to live in a world greatly diminished in natural wonders such as these magnificent cedar, spruce and Douglas fir trees, which are among the oldest living things on Earth.


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