A tree climber dangles from Canada’s second largest Douglas-fir tree, Big Lonely Doug–one of the 54 old-growth trees protected under a new Forest Act protection measure implemented by the B.C. government. (TJ Watt photo)

Big Lonely Doug among largest old-growth trees now on protection list

B.C. to protect 54 old-growth trees, but critics say it’s not enough

Big Lonely Doug won’t be so lonely anymore.

The Coastal Douglas-fir is among 54 of the province’s largest and oldest trees to be protected by the province along with a one-hectare buffer zone surrounding each of the giants, says Forest Minister Doug Donaldson.

Big Lonely Doug is the second largest Douglas-fir in Canada. The tree, located near Port Renfrew, stands at 70.2 metres, or 230 feet.

Two other trees in the Port Renfrew region – Sitka spruce – are also protected.

RELATED: Avatar Grove now protected

The trees are on the University of B.C.’s Big Tree Registry that has identified 347 of the largest of each species in the province.

The 54 trees were at risk of being harvested.

The trees are in more than two dozen locations, including central B.C., the East Kootenays, Haida Gwaii, Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley.

The species include arbutus, coastal Douglas-fir, Pacific yew, ponderosa pine, Sitka spruce, western red cedar and western white pine.

Donaldson says the announcement is also the start of a broader conversation about the future of old-growth management in the province.

The government says starting this fall, an independent two-person panel will meet with First Nations, industry and communities on how to manage old growth in the province.

ALSO READ: Plans to clear-cut old-growth near Port Renfrew causes an environmental outcry

Local environmental groups welcomed the decision to protect the 54 trees, but say much more needs to be done.

“It’s a small step, but it may signal there’s more comprehensive action to come,” said Andrea Inness, forest campaigner for the Ancient Forest Alliance.

“A more comprehensive, legislated plan is still desperately needed to protect the province’s old-growth ecosystems on a larger scale in order to sustain biodiversity, clean water, and the climate.”

Ken Wu, the executive director of the Endangered Ecosystems Alliance, says the government announcement protects the most charismatic fraction of B.C.’s endangered old-growth forests, but at the same time thousands of others remain endangered, including their ecosystems.

“The fact that the B.C. government says that they plan more comprehensive big tree protections and also old-growth forest ecosystem protections gives us some hope – but let’s see where they go with it,” Wu said.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay council places 60-day protection order on Island Road house

Developer pulled heritage agreement over ‘exorbitant’ $417,000 fees

Saanich council to dig into long-awaited garden suite study

Detached suites keep families close, provide financial flexibility, mayor says

BIPOC artists come together to paint mural highlighting racial injustice in Bastion Square

‘More Justice, More Peace’ to go beyond cycle of hurt and sadness

Victoria man charged in stabbing death of Vancouver overdose prevention worker

Maximus Roland Hayes, 23, is facing one count of manslaughter in connection to the killing

Firefighters tackle medium-sized grass fire on rural Saanich property

Saanich Fire Department issues warm weather fire safety reminder

VIDEO: Greater Victoria police officers try bhangra dancing with social media star

Gurdeep Pandher leads bhangra lesson on front lawn of the BC Legislature building

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish

Nearly 22,000 comments received during public review were opposed, fewer than 200 were for

Most Read