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This is the town I live in. Beautiful, no? This is Port Alberni, B.C. A town in the center of Vancouver Island, build at the end of a long narrow inlet, surrounded by thousands of miles of forests and mountains. Home also of the famous Salmon Derby. Everywhere you look there is wilderness and glorious vistas.

But there is something bad happening in paradise.

Mixed in with those glorious vistas are areas of "clear cuts"...patches of felled forests...naked earth. They are ugly reminders that this is a forestry town. Log booms can be seen in the inlet and a paper mill operates here. Forestry is a part of what supports this town. Forestry is a large part of BC. Small towns and cities rely on forestry to provide jobs.

Forestry practices had improved in the late 90's and massive clearcuts had become a thing ( almost ) of the past. Selective logging ( taking out only trees of a certain age, size and species) was better for the environment and the forests. It stopped the incidences of mudslides and flooding and encouraged regrowth. It is, however, more expensive and time consuming.

One of the forestry companies that operate in BC is Island Timberlands and they don't practice selective logging. They have just logged a 300ft wide area of McLaughlin Ridge, an area of old growth Douglas Fir ..trees that have stood there for hundreds of years.

The Port Alberni Watershed-Forest Alliance and Ancient Forest Alliance have urged the BC government -- which deregulated the land in 2004 -- to work toward conservation of McLaughlin Ridge and other endangered old-growth forests jeopardized by Island Timberlands.

“This magnificent old growth forest is being reduced to stumps, logs and huge amounts of waste that will most likely end up in massive burn piles," said Port Alberni Watershed Forest Alliance coordinator Jane Morden.

Jane also worries that more of the old growth forests on McLaughlin Ridge will also be cut down. There are only a few hundred hectares left.
“By all measures, McLaughlin Ridge is of the highest conservation priority...McLaughlin Ridge was supposed to be protected as part of the agreement to remove the lands from the Tree Farm Licence in 2004, but the BC government and Island Timberlands dropped the ball on the subsequent negotiations," said TJ Watt, Ancient Forest Alliance campaigner. “We need Island Timberlands to cease and desist immediately from their old-growth logging operations, and for the BC government to ensure a conservation solution for this endangered ancient forest.”
The loss of these forests would be a huge loss to the wildlife in the area, particularly the Queen Charlotte Goshawk and the Black Tailed Deer.

Damn you Christy Clark ( Premier of BC) for caring more about the money than the health of this beautiful Province.

Hiking guide and pics:

And a map:

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