B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson announces preservation of big trees outside parks, Francis/King Regional Park, Saanich, July 17, 2019. (B.C. government)

B.C. moves to preserve 54 of its biggest, oldest trees

Fir, cedar, spruce, pine, yew set aside from logging

The B.C. government is protecting 54 of its biggest trees, each with a one-hectare grove around it to act as a buffer zone.

The chosen trees are outside of parks and protected areas around the province, including Engelmann spruce in the North Okanagan, coastal Douglas fir in the Capital Regional District and Greater Vancouver, western red cedar and sitka spruce in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District and interior Douglas fir in the Cariboo, Columbia-Shuswap and Thompson-Nicola Regional Districts.

The list includes three Pacific yew trees in Greater Vancouver and 14 sitka spruce in the Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District.

RELATED: B.C. has world’s most sustainably managed forests

RELATED: B.C. mills struggle with log shortage, price slump

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said the initial preservation is the start of a larger program to preserve old-growth forests, more than half of which are already protected on the B.C. coast. The 54 trees were selected from the University of B.C.’s big tree registry, which lists 347 trees that are on either private or Crown land and could be harvested under current regulations.

Donaldson has appointed Gary Merkel, a natural resource expert and member of the Tahltan Nation, and Al Gorley, a forester and former chair of the Forest Practices Board, to tour the province and make recommendations to the minister next spring.

Regulation changes will be passed to set minimum diameter and other factors for protection as they are discovered, Donaldson said.

The B.C. Green Party accused the NDP government of using the big-tree project to distract from a lack of protection for coastal old-growth forest, citing 1,300 hectares of logging on Vancouver Island via the government agency B.C. Timber Sales.

“The amount the government says is protected has been inflated by unproductive forests that are not as ecologically valuable or economically productive,” Green MLA Sonia Furstenau said. “Adding 54 trees to that number is not going to be enough to ensure that these forests are intact for years to come.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

First woman appointed rector at Esquimalt Anglican church since 1866 consecration

Gail Rodger is the 32nd rector at St. Peter and St. Paul Anglican parish

Trudeau concludes re-election campaign at Victoria pub

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau makes his final campaign appearance

Saanich Recreation needs volunteers at Commonwealth Place

Welcome Ambassadors needed at Saanich Commonwealth Place to engage with, direct, and inform visitors

Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce honours former Sidney mayor Marie Rosko

Rosko received lifetime achievement award during 2019 Crystal Awards

Man seriously injured after fall from Johnson Street Bridge

Police say incident stands as public safety reminder

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Camera licker, wind gusts and rare bird make headlines this weekend

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

Most Read