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British Columbia Ancient Forests News
Survey tape sparks logging concerns in Vancouver Island old-growth forest
Site is less than 50 metres from one of the widest trees in Canada
Vancouver Sun, August 29, 2012Survey tape was found near a grove of massive western red cedars in the Upper Walbran Valley on Vancouver Island.
The Vancouver Island old-growth forest that, over the decades, has sparked bitter confrontations over logging is again in the spotlight after survey tape was found near a grove of massive western red cedars.
Members of the Ancient Forest Alliance found the tape in the Upper Walbran Valley, near Castle Grove, which contains the Castle Giant: a western red cedar measuring five metres in diameter. The tree is listed in the provincial big tree registry as one of the widest in Canada.
“Castle Grove is ground zero for the ancient forest movement on southern Vancouver Island, both historically and today,” said Ken Wu, AFA executive director.
“To try and log it is insanity — it will only escalate the war in the woods to a whole new level,” he said.
The logging tape, marked “falling boundary,” is less than 50 metres from the Castle Giant, said AFA campaigner TJ Watt, who discovered the tape.
In an email response to questions, however, the Forests Ministry said no activity is planned in Castle Grove, although some logging is planned in the area farther south.
Teal Jones Group of Surrey holds the licence for the area, but spokesman John Pichugin said he could not say whether the company has applied for a cutting licence in the area until he has seen a map.
Wu said it’s time the province came up with its promised “legal tool” to protect B.C.’s largest trees and monumental groves.
“Of all places, Castle Grove is the place where such a legal designation would make most sense. Otherwise, the B.C. Liberals’ rhetoric has been as empty as a clearcut,” Wu said.
The ministry statement said there are legal mechanisms to provide protection to unique or special trees and all British Columbians who find special trees are encouraged to register them on the Big Trees Registry.
“The ministry continues to look at other ways that may provide stronger proactive protection,” it said.