The 50-hectare stand of old-growth forest — dubbed Avatar Grove, after the popular movie, by members of the Ancient Forest Alliance who discovered the grove of huge, gnarly trees last year — can be difficult to find without guidance.
So, in hopes of increasing public interest in saving the area from logging, the group is planning monthly public hikes to the grove, starting in January.
Meanwhile, the Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce has repeated its call for protection of the old-growth stand.
“Since the name Avatar Grove was first uttered, we have seen tourist numbers increase and that means exposure for Port Renfrew and tourist dollars spent,” said Chamber of Commerce president Rosie Betsworth.
Surrey-based Teal Jones Group has cutting rights in the area. It’s hasn’t applied for a cutting permit and part of the grove is in an old-growth management area, meaning no cutting is allowed.
However, the forest alliance wants further protection through a legislated provincial conservancy, said campaigner T.J. Watt.