Ancient cedar felled

A photo of an ancient red cedar being cut down on Vancouver Island is sparking outrage among conservation groups.

The Wilderness Committee has received a photo of a record-sized ancient red cedar tree being cut down. The exact location and date when the tree was harvested is not clear but it is believed to be somewhere on northern Vancouver Island.

“The fact that companies are cutting down the last of them highlights the unsustainable nature of old-growth logging and the fact that some companies are not willing to change course. BC needs a law to protect remaining old-growth forests,” said Torrance Coste, Vancouver Island Campaigner with the Wilderness Committee.

The tree appears to be as big or even bigger than other record-sized members of its species.

At low-elevation, the vast majority of original, highly productive rainforest on Vancouver Island has been logged. Despite this scarcity, logging companies still cut over 9,000 hectares per year, or about one rugby field per hour, of old-growth on the Island.

“It’s beyond me how this is still happening anywhere in the world, let alone here,” Coste said.

Coste received the photo from a member of the public who wishes to stay anonymous, the day after a series of townhall meetings on Vancouver Island. The Let’s Talk Forests tour, co-organized with Sierra Club BC, included six community meetings that focused on the scarcity of original forests and the future of the forest industry.

The Wilderness Committee is planning to further investigate the photo and work to find the site where it was taken.

The organization is calling for the protection of remaining old-growth rainforest on Vancouver Island and for a just transition to sustainable second-growth forestry.

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