Located near Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in Hupacasath and Tseshaht territory, the Nahmint Valley boasts some of Canada’s grandest old-growth forests, supports a variety of wildlife, and is considered a recreational paradise by hikers, campers, and anglers alike. Despite its high conservation, recreation, and scenic value, and despite a Ministry of Forests investigation finding non-compliance by the government’s own logging agency, BC Timber Sales, the Province continues to allow the Nahmint Valley to be destroyed clearcut by clearcut.
The McKelvie Valley is located on northwestern Vancouver Island in Mowachaht/Muchalaht territory and is the last unprotected, intact watershed in the Tahsis region. The valley is home to rare, ancient Douglas-fir stands, provides high quality habitat for the endangered marbled murrelet, ensures clean water for the town of Tahsis, and supports the health and survival of wild salmon. It’s also where Western Forest Products plans to blast a road into the heart of the valley to carry out upwards of 25 clearcuts.
Canada’s most famous old-growth forest, Cathedral Grove, has been visited by millions of people around the world. Unfortunately, the mountainside above this world-famous grove, Horne Mountain, has been roaded by Island Timberlands in preparation for potential logging.
The Edinburgh Grove, the most spectacular part of the Edinburgh Mountain Ancient Forest on its southwestern side, has also been nicknamed the ‘Eden Grove’. More than half of the Edinburgh Mountain Ancient Forest is open for logging, while other parts are protected as a ‘core’ Wildlife Habitat Area (the ‘buffer’ zone can still be logged, and has already been logged in several areas) for the endangered Queen Charlotte Goshawk, as an Ungulate Winter Range, and as Old-Growth Management Areas.
Echo Lake is a spectacular, unprotected, lowland ancient forest near Agassiz, BC, in a region where virtually all of the valley bottom old-growth forests have been logged. The area is home to perhaps the largest concentration of bald eagles on Earth, where thousands of eagles come each fall to eat spawning salmon in the Harrison and Chehalis Rivers and hundreds roost in the old-growth trees at night around Echo Lake.
The unprotected “Mossy Maple Grove” is a several kilometer long stretch of enormous old-growth Bigleaf maple trees – some as much as 2 meters (7 feet) wide in trunk diameter – completely draped in hanging gardens of mosses and ferns found along a creek just south of Cowichan Lake on Vancouver Island.
The Central Walbran Valley on southern Vancouver Island is the grandest old-growth rainforest in Canada. The area is jam-packed with hundreds of the monumental redcedars, especially in the spectacular “Castle Grove,” which is perhaps the most extensive stand of near record-sized cedars on Earth. Unfortunately this also makes the area a prime target for logging.
Just a half hour drive from Cathedral Grove is an ancient forest that is just about as impressive – the Cameron Valley Ancient Forest or “Firebreak.” This area is a valley-bottom-to-mountain-top old-growth Douglas-fir forest that was originally left as a moist, old-growth rainforest firebreak to stifle the spread of forest raging through the dry clearcuts. It was supposed to have been protected as an Ungulate Winter Range for the legions of magnificent Roosevelt elk and black-tailed deer that live here.