Tag Archives: British Columbia

Protecting Ancient Trees in British Columbia

Earlier this year, a concerned citizen happened to photograph a loaded logging truck on Vancouver Island’s Highway 19 near Nanaimo. On its sturdy deck was a sizeable log , somewhat less than three metres in diameter. The photo swiftly went viral, and that log ended up raising quite a furor in British Columbia, where many people are currently rallying to protect ancient forests. Truthfully though, you might be surprised or even unaware that countless trees of similar size are routinely cut down here in this province.

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The Unheralded Stoney Creek Fir

Nearly nine kilometres along the Seymour Valley Trailway, in North Vancouver’s Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve (LSCR), stands a distinctively towering Douglas Fir. It receives thousands and thousands of visitors every year, standing as it does, alongside a popular recreational trail.

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The Return Of The War in the Woods: A Call to Action

When talk turns to the logging of ancient forests, unfortunately, time has proven that the more things change, the more they remain the same. 28 years ago, a heated battle to preserve Clayoquot Sound began on Vancouver Island. It was called, most appropriately, The War in the Woods. In 1993, concerned citizens joined forces to form a series of blockades to protest the clear cutting of old growth forests in Clayoquot Sound. This was to culminate in a movement that saw over 900 people arrested, and is acknowledged today as the largest act of civil disobedience in the history of British Columbia. In that fateful year, an estimated 11,000 thousand individuals arrived to take part in those protests.

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A Remnant of Yesteryear: The Kitty Coleman Fir

There was a time that the east coast of Vancouver Island was home to countless stands of ancient Douglas Fir trees that numbered among the finest British Columbia had to offer. While it’s well documented that most of them fell to the crosscut saws of the colonial era, there are, if you take the time to search, some remaining gems to be seen. One such tree is the one I call the Kitty Coleman Fir. Reputed to be the largest remaining tree in the Comox Valley by some accounts, it rests in a quiet clearing in its namesake park, just as it has for centuries.

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In Search of The Seymour Cedars

Ever so slowly, our bikes rolled to a stop, as Doug gestured quietly, pointing toward the forest. There, happily grazing, was a robust young deer enjoying her morning solitude beside the Seymour Valley Trailway. While pulling out my camera to document the moment, I began to get the feeling this was going to be an illustrious day!

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Summer on Crest Mountain

“I’m on the 6:25. Yay.” I laughed, reading that rather wry text from Doug in mid August 2020.  Just a  month before, we’d been crashing through the brush of North Vancouver’s Wickenden Creek hunting for ancient trees, and on that day I’d been awake far too early for my liking. Now it was time for an Island adventure, and it was Doug joining the ranks of the sleep deprived!

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Hanes Valley 101: What You need to know!

If you’ve followed the exploits of the hiking world in southwestern British Columbia, it’s likely you’ve heard of the Hanes Valley Trail. It’s without question one of the signature hikes of the North Shore Mountains, taking you on a rugged journey through some of the most scenic and challenging terrain the region has to offer.

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For the Love of Fairy Creek

High above Fairy Lake near Port Renfrew, British Columbia, in the heart of  the unceded territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation, people have united. They arrived on August 10, driven by the news that the upper Fairy Creek Valley was threatened by nearby logging. A network of rugged roads were in the process of being built by contractors Stone Pacific, on behalf of Teal Jones Cedar. The target was a centuries old stand of Yellow Cedar, Western Hemlock, Mountain Hemlock, and Silver Fir. While  the core of the Fairy Creek Valley is currently protected , this proposed cut block is situated dangerously close to what is also the last unlogged watershed on south Vancouver Island. (It’s also noteworthy that areas set aside as old growth or wildlife management areas like Fairy Creek have been logged in the past when the government has declared them open season). Here,  a staunch group of concerned citizens have blockaded the road and constructed a camp, which augurs the arrival of a showdown.

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Hiking the Hydraulic Creek Trail


It comes as a surprise to most of the people who know me well, but truthfully, it wasn’t until late in 2003 that I first discovered the existence of the Hydraulic Creek Trail. Continue reading Hiking the Hydraulic Creek Trail

A Return to the Eagles Nest Grove

 

It was a sunny spring morning back in May of 2018, silent save for the sounds of birds and my bicycle, as I crossed the Hydraulic Creek Bridge in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve (LSCR). A ride up the Seymour Valley Trailway was nothing unusual for me, but this one was distinctively different. Continue reading A Return to the Eagles Nest Grove