Central Walbran Valley at Risk – 2014

Upper Walbran

Just a few hours from Victoria, B.C. lies the Upper Walbran Valley. A magical place that holds one of the last remaining stands of unprotected old-growth redcedar trees, the Castle Grove, as well as the at-risk Central Walbran Ancient Forest, a largely intact, valley-bottom-to-mountain-top forest filled with giant old-growth cedars, delicate limestone creeks, and abundant wildlife. Thanks to the ideal growing conditions in the region, it is here that Canada’s temperate rainforests reach their most magnificent proportions.

These seemingly indomitable forests have now sadly been reduced to a tiny fraction of their former extent. Outside of parks on southern Vancouver Island, a century of industrial logging has left us mostly with tattered patches of lowland old-growth forests, poking up above the monotonous tree plantations like tufts of grass missed when mowing the lawn.

Local conservationists have become concerned upon the recent discovery of survey tape marked “Falling Boundary” and “Road Location” in the Central Walbran Ancient Forest. TJ Watt recently visited the valley with AFA activist Jackie Korn to document the survey tape and the surrounding endangered forest with photos and video for the public to see.

The old-growth forests of B.C. are vital to sustaining endangered species, climate stability, tourism, clean water, wild salmon, and the cultures of many First Nations who use the old-growth redcedars to build canoes, long houses, masks, and to meet numerous other needs. Yet on the province’s southern coast, satellite photos show that at least 75 per cent of the original, productive old-growth forests have been logged, including over 90 per cent of the valley bottoms where the largest trees grow (see recent maps and stats here).

The Ancient Forest Alliance is therefore calling on the B.C. government to implement a comprehensive science-based plan to protect the province’s endangered old-growth forests, and to also ensure a sustainable, value-added second-growth forest industry.

Now is that chance to protect the Central Walbran Ancient Forest, the Castle Grove, and the Upper Walbran Valley — before it’s too late.

Please sign the petition at:

— Excerpts from TJ Watt’s article, “Not All Is Well In B.C.’s Woods”


Photo: Ancient Forest Alliance


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