AFA Executive Director Ken Wu stands alongside a row of Sitka spruce and western hemlock trees growing in a line out of a nurse log in the unprotected FernGully Grove near Port Renfrew. (Photo by TJ Watt)

Old-growth forest discovered outside Port Renfrew

Environmental group reaches out to government for funding to purchase and protect the land

The Ancient Forest Alliance has discovered a “magnificent old-growth forest” located 10 minutes away from Port Renfrew.

It’s the second major unprotected old-growth forest found this year.

The new forest is nicknamed FurnGully Grove, due to its vast understory of ferns, which makes it a good habitat for Roosevelt elk, black-tailed deer, wolves, cougars, and black bears, said AFA officials.

FurnGully Grove is also home to an 11-foot wide Sitka spruce tree, the 10th largest in Canada, according to the B.C. Big Tree Registry, as well as many other six to eight feet wide giants.

However, this new-found natural gem’s existence could potentially be in danger, as the land is owned by TimberWest and could be logged at any time, said AFA.

“This is the most impressive unprotected Sitka spruce grove we’ve come across in years,” said Ken Wu, AFA executive director.

“Finding a grove of unprotected giant Sitka spruce is highly significant, given that the vast majority them on Vancouver Island have been logged in the valley bottoms where they grow.”

The forest that was discovered earlier this year, called Jurassic Grove, is located along a three-kilometre stretch between Jordan River and Port Renfrew and is described as another Avatar Grove because of its accessibility, gentle terrain, and amazing trees.

“Lowland old-growth groves on southern Vancouver Island with the classic giants like this are about as rare as finding a Sasquatch these days – over 95 per cent of the forests like this have been logged on the South Island,” said Wu.

Though there are no proposed plans of logging Jurassic Grove, and there is no survey tape indicating FernGully will be logged yet, Wu said the groves need to be bought and protected by the province.

He added that TimberWest has agreed to not log some contentious sites they they own in the past, such as the Koksilah Ancient Forest, and hopes they will do the same for FernGully.

AFA campaigner Andrea Inness agreed suggesting the provincial government implement a land acquisition fund to buy and protect endangered ecosystems on private lands.

“On Crown lands, where most ancient forests remain, the B.C. government needs to implement a comprehensive, science-based plan to protect the remaining old-growth forests, while also supporting First Nations land use plans and financing sustainable economic development and diversification in those communities in lieu of old-growth logging,” said Inness.

 

A man walks through a thicket of sword ferns in the unprotected FernGully Grove near Port Renfrew (Photo by TJ Watt)

Just Posted

PHOTOS: The King of Rock and Roll runs the 25th Annual King and Queen of the Hill Race

Lambrick Park Secondary students, staff, alumni take on Mount Douglas

Colwood taking steps to improve intersection safety after two motor vehicle incidents in one week

Pedestrian and cyclist struck in two separate incidents at Sooke and Metchosin Roads

Esquimalt café cooks up connections for all abilities

A Kinder Cup focuses on positivity, inclusivity and connection

Free bike exchange program available to Greater Victoria kids

The Re-Buy-Cycle Shop in Langford offers free bikes for young learners

Central Saanich sparks up new opening burning bylaw

New bylaw offers ‘balanced approach’ between status quo and tougher provincial regulations

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

One-in-five British Columbians think they’ll win big while gambling: study

Roughly 58 per cent of British Columbians bought at least one lottery ticket in past year

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Possible Canadian cases of vaping illnesses being investigated: health officer

‘I think that will be really important to address the overall trend of youth vaping’

Most Read