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.
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
It conjures up the grandest of images, like, say, the sturdiest of stone castles standing high on a bluff above the crashing waves of the North Sea, seemingly indestructible. While that may be fun to imagine, how many among you would have thought the name actually referred to a tree? Set deep within the forests of Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, Norvan’s Castle is, by volume, the fourth largest Western Hemlock on the planet. Its nine and a half foot diameter at breast height also makes it the widest one on record! The three trees that are of larger volume are all found south of the border on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula.
A thousand years ago, this world was a very different place. Already, Leif Erickson, son of Eric the Red, had led his storied expedition to the east coast of North America. Soon after that, battles raged throughout Europe as The Crusades began. Time marched onward, and centuries passed. Continue reading The World Champion Red Creek Fir
Picture the scene. You’re hunting the forests of the Pacific Northwest in search of record giants. On a hillside you can see the outline of a massive trunk in the distance. Is it a Western Red Cedar? Douglas fir? Whatever the answer is Continue reading Hiding in Plain Sight: The Elusive Pacific Yew
If you happen to be out for a nice summer bike ride in the Seymour Valley this year, keep an eye out for a marker at just past the 6 km mark on the Seymour Valley Trailway. As you head north it will be on your left, on the uphill side. Just a minute or two off the road is the massive stump of an ancient Western Red Cedar, on what is called the See More Stumps Trail Continue reading Tree of the Week: The See More Stump
The spring of 2007 was to feature a lot of sunny weather, so I was able to make several more expeditions into the wilderness west of Lynn Creek. The next trek, near the end of April, was with Doug. For a variety of reasons he’d been unable to join Chris and me on earlier jaunts so he was quite enthusiastic about getting a first hand look at what we’d discovered. Continue reading The Heart of Wickenden: The Forgotten Forest, Part Three
Only a few pages of the 2007 calendar were to turn before favourable spring weather had us thinking about a return to Kennedy Creek. It was the first day of April when Chris and I began our early day, hiking along the Cedar Mills Trail in Lynn Headwaters Park. The idea, this time, was simply to try and cover some ground we hadn’t on the first foray. Would we be April fools? Well, yes, but read on and find out how! Continue reading Into the Mystic: The Forgotten Forest, Part Two
In these days of public outcry over the destruction of British Columbia’s remaining old growth forests, it is no small twist of irony that one of the last bastions of remaining giants is relatively close to the metropolis of Vancouver. Tucked away in what is still a remote corner of the North Shore Mountains is the Kennedy Creek Valley. Continue reading The Giants of Kennedy Creek: The Forgotten Forest, Part One
A couple of weeks ago, when we were passing through Mt Revelstoke National Park, I managed a short hike on the Ancient Cedars Boardwalk. As my treks go, it’s a relatively effortless one, but I like to stop there every so often to enjoy this forest. It’s a stand dominated by western redcedars, and while few of the trees exceed six feet in diameter, it’s notable that they are nevertheless very old, some perhaps five hundred years in age Continue reading Strolling the Ancient Cedars Boardwalk