Experiencing an old growth forest

Living in the middle of the inland temperate rainforest, it’s easy to take giant, ancient trees for granted. We’re around them all the time. It’s easy to forget that they are unique, and for many people, offer a unique experience.

A couple of summers ago at Gibson Lake in Kokanee Glacier Park, a vehicle from Saskatchewan pulled up, and we started chatting with the two couples who got out about the beautiful day and amazing scenery. They had just hiked the Kokanee Old Growth Cedars trail, and they talked about it like it was a religious experience. They were breath-taken at the size of the trees, the fact that some are over 800 years old, the serenity of the old growth forest. They had an experience that promised a lasting impact.

Our conversation reminded me that while we too find the old growth forests breath-taking, we’re also accustomed to them. Ancient trees are stunning, and for now, still easy to find on walks like the old growth cedars trail.

Did you know that the Kokanee Old Growth Cedars trail is not part of the provincial park and not protected from logging? There is not one piece of legislation that would prevent this popular site from being logged. If you don’t think it could happen, talk to the people of Glade, Johnson’s Landing, Grand Forks or Peachland who are all facing the consequences of logging forests close to their communities and in their watersheds.

In the West Kootenay, only 17.5% of forests within Old Growth Management Areas are actually old, while some of the best remaining pockets of old forest are not protected and continue to be logged. The amount of protected old forest is a fraction of the area legally required for old growth protection.

That’s why EcoSociety launched its campaign to protect old growth forests. It’s National Forest Week in Canada.

  • Get out and enjoy our forests.
  • Take part in one of the activities in communities throughout the province.
  • And sign our petition calling for a moratorium on logging old growth forests until better policies and plans are in place.

Old growth forests support people, communities, jobs, plants and animals. They’re vital to a healthy environment for all of us. Don’t take them for granted. If we take action today to protect our old growth forests, then they’ll survive to offer future generations the benefits of a healthy ecosystem and the awe-inspiring experiences that we are so fortunate to have.