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AVATAR GROVE EXTRAVAGANZA: Biodiversity Hike and Fundraiser! Sunday, August 7th

Large Carnivores, Humble Lichens, and Giant Gnarly Tree Tour with Dr. Jason Fisher, Stu Crawford, Ken Wu and TJ Watt!

Ancient Forest Alliance, August 4, 2011

AVATAR GROVE EXTRAVAGANZA: Biodiversity Hike and Fundraiser! Sunday, August 7th
Click for larger image

A group of visitors hike past a rare old-growth Douglas-fir tree in the Lower Avatar Grove.
Photo by TJ Watt

Meet 1:00 pm in Port Renfrew at the new Tourist Info Center (right side of the road upon entering town), after which time we’ll drive in a convoy to the Avatar Grove.

Hike 1:30 – 3:30 pm

COST: SLIDING SCALE - $25 to $100 per individual (children are free)

Come out to our Avatar Grove biodiversity hike and fundraiser with large mammal/carnivore specialist Dr. Jason Fisher and lichenologist Stu Crawford. Join these special guests and the Ancient Forest Alliance organizers Ken Wu and TJ Watt on the hike and speak about the biodiversity in Vancouver Island’s temperate rainforests.

You will:

- See some of the largest and strangest looking trees, including “Canada’s Gnarliest Tree” and “Canada’s Second Gnarliest Tree”! Learn to identify some of the common rainforest trees and plants.

- Learn about the large mammals (“charismatic megafauna”), the wolves, cougars, elk, deer, bears, and possibly sasquatch (*sightings not guaranteed) that all inhabit the Avatar Grove.

- Learn to identify some of the varied, interesting lichens (“charismatic microflora”) in our ancient forests. Lichens are cooperative unions of fungi and algae and are often closely associated with old-growth forests.

- Get an update on the Avatar Grove campaign which has huge momentum due to massive public and community support – we need to keep going to ensure victory!

Guest presenter bios:

Jason Fisher is an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria’s School of Environmental Studies. He is a specialist on carnivore conservation and ecology (wolverine, wolves, sea otters, etc.), ungulate ecology (deer, moose, caribou, etc.), species restoration, and landscape ecology. He recently received his doctorate in biology studying under Dr. John Volpe at the University of Victoria.

Stu Crawford is an ecological consultant and one of the handful of lichenologists in BC. He received his masters degree in biology studying under ethnobotanist Dr. Nancy Turner at the University of Victoria on First Nations consumption and use of lichens (yes, you can eat some lichens! learn more on the hike...).

TJ Watt and Ken Wu are co-founders of the Ancient Forest Alliance. TJ Watt graduated from the Western Academy of Photography and Ken Wu from UBC’s Biological Sciences program specializing in Ecology.

***Only those with moderate hiking abilities and who are comfortable on semi-rugged terrain, with a firm sense of balance, can come on this hike. All participants will be required to sign a waiver form.

***Participants must also bring their own water, rain gear, hiking boots and wonderful attitude!

***No dogs. They can disturb wildlife including bears, elk, deer, cougars, wolves, raccoons, and sasquatch in the area.

***Be sure to support the local community by buying food and other items in town!

***This event is a fundraiser for the Ancient Forest Alliance which is in need of funding to continue its vital campaigns to protect BC’s ancient forests and forestry jobs.

If you can, please email us at to let us know how many of you are coming so we can get a sense of our numbers.

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