Tag Archives: yellow cedar

Walking the Wilds of Valhalla Grove

It was a warm summer’s day in mid July, as Greg and I trekked our way up a steeply rugged road in the remote reaches of the Alberni Valley. Earlier in the summer, we had been discussing the forests of Vancouver Island, when he had presented me with an idea. Was I interested in exploring one the most idyllic and impressive yellow cedar groves he had ever seen? The answer, naturally, was an emphatic “Yes!”


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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 individuals arrived to take part in those protests.

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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. The very idea of a rugged track winding its way to the South Needle from the Seymour Valley was more than enough to pique my curiosity. The real clincher, though, was that much of the terrain in the upper Hydraulic Creek valley was reputed to be old growth forest. The trail had apparently already existed for five years before I’d ever heard of it, indeed, I’d already ridden my bike past the trailhead countless times!

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The Hollyburn Giant

It stood 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 called it the Hollyburn Giant, and though it’s merely a shadow of what it once was, this legendary tree had been estimated to be as old as 1400 years. Sometimes confused with the Hollyburn Fir, this yellow cedar grews on the opposite side of Hollyburn Mountain, and at a much higher elevation. It was one of the many wonders of British Columbia’s Cypress Provincial Park. Continue reading The Hollyburn Giant

Snow Falling From Cedars

Well it’s December here on the west coast and finally winter has arrived in earnest. There has been snowfall in the North Shore Mountains lately like we haven’t seen in years. Trouble is, everyone has been set on enjoying it at the same time, so it took a little planning Continue reading Snow Falling From Cedars