Tag Archives: Old growth

The Harris Creek Spruce

Picture in your mind an ancient coastal temperate rainforest, undisturbed by man. Moss laden branches reach high into the canopy from the massive trunks that anchor them to terra firma. Home to considerable biodiversity and abundant wildlife, places like these are among the finest examples of nature at work. Everything is purposeful, from the smallest cone, to the chattering of the Red Squirrel, to the fallen giant decaying quietly amidst the ferns.

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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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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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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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Saving the North Shore’s Big Cedar, a Call to Action

At the dawn of the twentieth century, old growth forests in the North Shore Mountains were taken for granted. So many massive trees still stood tall and strong then that it was believed their supply was nearly infinite. In today’s era, sadly, we know better. The few ancient specimens that persevere are invaluable to our heritage and ecology!  Continue reading Saving the North Shore’s Big Cedar, a Call to Action

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

The Westside Cedar

The Big Cedar Trail to Kennedy Falls is aptly named. Roughly two and half kilometres from the trailhead, the track leads intrepid hikers to an ancient Western Red Cedar that’s over six hundred and fifty years old! Ironically, however, those who reach it have often unknowingly walked right by an equally formidable specimen. Continue reading The Westside Cedar

The Wickenden Creek Giant

It sits in silence, even unobtrusively, in a clearing in the Wickenden Creek valley. That in itself is quite a feat, because this ancient Western Red Cedar measures in at 4.85 metres in diameter, which is just a shade under sixteen feet wide! The Wickenden Creek Giant is one of the most impressive cedars I’ve seen on British Columbia’s mainland, and the fact that it still stands today is a miracle in itself! Continue reading The Wickenden Creek Giant

Exploring Qualicum Heritage Forest

Qualicum Beach, to most, is a quiet seaside community on Vancouver Island’s east coast. Sitting in the shadow of Mt Arrowsmith beside Salish Sea, not far from Parksville, it’s best known as a summer resort and a great golf location. If you start to look around,  however, there’s a lot more there than first meets the eye. Continue reading Exploring Qualicum Heritage Forest

The Hollyburn Giant

It stands in a clearing of its own creation, amid a forest that has somehow not seen the ravages of fire for over four thousand years. They call it the Hollyburn Giant, and though it’s merely a shadow of what it once was, this legendary tree has been estimated to be as old as 1400 years. Sometimes confused with the Hollyburn Fir, this Yellow Cedar grows on the opposite side of Hollyburn Mountain, and at a much higher elevation. It’s one of the many wonders of British Columbia’s Cypress Provincial Park Continue reading The Hollyburn Giant