Jurassic Grove

Check out these photos of the magnificent “Jurassic Grove”, recently identified by the Ancient Forest Alliance as an exceptional stand of unprotected, monumental old-growth trees only a 90 minute drive west of Victoria. It spans a 3 kilometer stretch alongside a portion of the 48 kilometre Juan de Fuca Marine Trail Provincial Park on Crown lands adjacent to the provincial park and its popular coastal hiking trail, not far from Highway 14 in the traditional unceded territory of the Pacheedaht band. 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% of the forests like this have been logged on the South Island. It’s hard to fathom that at one time the highway between Victoria to Port Renfrew could’ve been lined with ancient forests like this. Now it remains in just a few patches, like the Jurassic Grove, underscoring the need to protect what’s left of our old-growth forests. The Ancient Forest Alliance has requested meetings with the Ministry of Forests, BC Parks, and Pacheedaht council to discuss conservation and access issues regarding the area. Until then, the organization is not yet encouraging the public to try visiting the grove, most of which has no trails, has an extremely dense understorey, and which is punctuated with very steep ravines. While most of Jurassic Grove’s 130 hectares of old-growth is protected within a Marbled Murelet Wildlife Habitat Area that is off-limits to logging, about 40 hectares is on unprotected Crown lands without any type of regulatory or legislated protection. There are no approved or proposed logging plans on these lands for now. As it abuts against a popular provincial park for hiking, it would be a natural addition to the park and as a buffer to the Juan de Fuca trail – and ultimately as a star attraction for visitors around the world.

 

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