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Posted April 23, 2012

Eco-group hopes premier will protect 'Christy Clark Grove'

The Ancient Forest Alliance is calling on Premier Christy Cark to protect a newly discovered and endangered old-growth forest that now bears her name.

The Province, April 21, 2012

Eco-group hopes premier will protect 'Christy Clark Grove'
Click for larger image

Photo by TJ Watt

Some spectacular views of a newly discovered grove of massive Douglas firs near Port Renfrew, B.C., named after Premier Christy Clark in an effort to spur their protection by the B.C. government.

The Ancient Forest Alliance is calling on Premier Christy Cark to protect a newly discovered and endangered old-growth forest that now bears her name.

The Christy Clark Grove — located on unprotected Crown land in the Gordon River Valley near Port Renfrew — rests 500 metres away from a sprawling swath of clearcut Douglas firs and red cedars that AFA co-founder T.J. Watt came across in early April after viewing satellite imagery of some of the last remaining old-growth forests on southern Vancouver Island.

“We’re dealing with the guts and feathers of an incredible rainforest that once covered our island,” Watt, 27, said Saturday from his home in nearby Metchosin.

“By naming this grove after Christy Clark, it helps draw the attention we need to help protect these areas,” he said.

Watt also discovered a Douglas fir with a circumference of 9.5 metres in the grove, making it Canada's eighth-widest known Douglas fir.

Its name: The Clark Giant.

Watt said he and AFA co-founder Ken Wu are trying to pressure the provincial government into adopting an old-growth policy that will inventory ancient forests growing more scarce on Vancouver Island, the southern mainland of B.C., and the Interior.

The group also wants to see sustainable logging done to 2nd growth forests instead of logging the “biggest, best valley-bottom trees,” said Watts.

According to the AFA, 75 per cent of the Island’s productive old-growth forests have been logged, including 90 per cent of the biggest trees in the valley bottoms.

Christy Clark Grove is not far from Avatar Grove — named and brought to public’s attention by the AFA in December 2009, when some of the trees were due to be harvested.

After an increase in public pressure and an influx of tourists wanting to look at the big trees, the grove was protected by the provincial government.

“[Clark] holds the state of her own grove in her hands,” said Watt. “If she chooses to not protect the endangered Christy Clark Grove, or other old-growth forests, then her own grove will fall.”

Clark could not be reached for comment Saturday.


Read more:    http://www.theprovince.com/news/group+hopes+premier+will+protect+Christy+Clark+Grove/6497702/story.html


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