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Logging near Cathedral Grove. Really?

In this morning’s Times Colonist newspaper, there was an article about Island Timberlands‘ plans to log an area

Photo Credit: EverySpoon on Flickr

Photo Credit: EverySpoon on Flickr

which borders world-famous Cathedral Grove, home to some of the oldest, largest trees on the Island. Because it is so accessible (Highway 4 goes right through it), Cathedral Grove, in MacMillan Provincial Park, has become the most famous forest in Canada, drawing thousands of visitors from around the world (there’s even a Swedish website about it).

I’m not anti-logging. Logging supported my family a few generations ago, and I know it supports many BC families to this day. Trees are a renewable resource, thankfully.

But seriously. Come on. Near Cathedral Grove?

Island Timberlands says that the viewscape will be unaffected, and plans to remove the timber (some of it old-growth) from its lands by helicopter. Chainsaws and other logging equipment will be audible in the park, which is somewhat unsettling. What would the tourists think?

There are lots of trees on the Island, and plenty of mature second-growth forests for Island Timberlands to log which won’t anger people and endanger one of the true natural wonders of this province. Old-growth trees risk damage to their root systems from erosion, which can cause them to blow down when logging occurs near them.

Stay away from the Grove, please.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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  • Friends of Cathedral Grove

    A MESSAGE FROM THE FRIENDS OF CATHEDRAL GROVE

    Dear Friends and Supporters of Cathedral Grove:

    You know by now that Island Timberlands plans to log in Cathedral Grove — news which we received only two days ago. We are sorry to report that logging took place today, Friday, October 3, 2008.

    Friends of the Grove will be coordinating two protest gatherings to demonstrate community concern for the logging program by Island Timberlands in Cathedral Grove — and their failure to negotiate extemely sensitive decisions with the communities involved.

    Several organizations have expressed interest in acquiring more of the remaining Cameron River valley forests, including the Nature Trust of B.C. — but the Nature Trust reports that Island Timberlands is apparently not interested in such negotiations.

    We believe the current logging is occurring in old growth forest near the boundary of MacMillan Park, on the other side of the Cameron River from the Heart of the Grove. Deforestation near the park is opening it up to more wind damage and is changing the hydrology and putting all remaining forest in the valley-bottom at risk.

    The only firm details available are contained in the Alberni Valley Times news story below.

    Supporters of Cathedral Grove are invited and needed at these two events:

    11:00 am, Sunday, October 5, 2008
    Cathedral Grove – MacMillan Park
    Visitor Parking Area
    ————————————
    11:00 am, Monday, October 6, 2008
    Main Gate
    Island Timberlands’ Nanoose Yard on the Inland Highway
    (at the traffic light between Nanoose PetroCan and the first Parksville Exit)

    Please bring signs with your own ideas or with these suggested exhortations

    SAVE OLD GROWTH
    TREE CUTTING = BLOWDOWN
    PROTECT CATHEDRAL GROVE
    PROTECT DRINKING WATER
    DON’T CUT ANCIENT TREES

  • To be fair, NO ONE can log in Cathedral Grove, as it is within MacMillan Provincial Park, inside of which no logging can occur, just like any other Provincial park. However, like I said above, there are plenty of other areas on Vancouver Island for Island Timberlands to log.

  • Ronda

    I am not anti-logging either but I have a problem with the unsustainable management which has left us with a collapsed forest industry. A tree might be renewable but forests, especially old growth forests most certainanly are not! Forest Companies on Vancouver Island operate on a 60 year rotation and now they want to pave the forest, take the money and run, leaving us the taxpayer with all the costs of rehabilitation. We have lost the jobs and we have a declining population of animals and forest plants which will also result in losses in tourism. A small country like Switzerland has operated a sustainable forest industry for over 10 generations. They have had logging in the same valleys, sawmills and other value added forest industry jobs in the same communities for more than 250 years. We could have that too if the general population would wake up!!