Thursday, May 6, 2010

Carmanah Valley

Old Growth Forest, Carmanah Valley, BC
Thirty years ago, the chainsaws were ready to cut down the pristine, old-growth forests of Carmanah Valley on Vancouver Island, just as they have nearly everywhere else in the area. But a grassroots effort was launched to save what may be the finest stand of giant Sitka Spruces anywhere in Canada.  In the end, the trees were saved and the area designated a Provincial Park.  Just in time. 
On a pilgrimage to this important site this week, we passed through massive clearcuts and dodged an endless stream of loaded log trucks.   The lesson?  The last remnants of old-growth forest are more important than ever : once these forests are gone, they are gone forever.  The dense stands of monoculture that replace them do not deserve the name "forests." 

Trees as crops, Cowichan Valley

No, clearcuts are never pretty....but as long as we use wood we will have them.  But there is simply no excuse for a single acre of old-growth forest to be cut any longer. It should be flatly illegal across the board: no exceptions.  These ancient trees are just too rare, and too precious.

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