B.C. conservationists want protection on ‘Canada’s most magnificent’ old-growth forest

Conservationists in British Columbia are pushing for protections on an area of old-growth forests that they describe as “Canada’s most magnificent.”

The grove is located on Crown land in the San Juan River Valley near Port Renfrew on southern Vancouver Island in the unceded territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation band.

Endangered Ecosystems Alliance executive director Ken Wu says the 13-hectare grove of immense old-growth Sitka spruce and big-leaf maples draped in hanging mosses and ferns was first located in October and explored again in late December.

He says most of the grove is unprotected, with a small portion — about four hectares — off-limits to loggers through the provincial government’s old-growth management area.

Wu says some of the trees in this grove are near record-sized, including a Sitka spruce with a diameter of 3.1 meters that would rank among the top 10 in the province.

The forest is also home to Roosevelt elk, black-tailed deer, black bears, wolves, and cougars.

Ancient Forest Alliance campaigner Andrea Inness is seen amongst giant sitka spruce and bigleaf maple trees in this undated handout photo. Conservationists in British Columbia are pushing for protections on an area of old-growth forests that they describe as “Canada’s most magnificent.” The grove is located on Crown land in the San Juan River Valley near Port Renfrew on southern Vancouver Island in the unceded territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation band.

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