What was left behind shows the work of an inexperienced tree faller (Michael Henwood photo)

Carved culturally modified tree stolen from North Island forest

The Spirit of Anutz was felled sometime in late August near Nimpkish Lake

A unique carving in the Nimpkish Valley has been cut down, to the dismay of regular visitors. The Spirit of Anutz, at Anutz Lake, was a face carved into a western red cedar. Sometime at the end of August the tree was cut down and the section of trunk with the carving was removed from the area.

It was a culturally modified tree — the space the face had been carved into was bare from cedar bark stripping, something the local First Nations have done for thousands of years. The bark would be woven into baskets, clothing, mats or regalia. A tree can only be harvested for its bark once; more than that and the tree would die.

RELATED: Sisiyutl house plank coming home to Vancouver Island after 127 years away

RELATED: Vancouver Island history unveiled in Broken Islands dig

Culturally modified trees are protected against harvesting, and as First Nations engage in legal proceedings regarding their traditional territories, culturally modified trees can be used as evidence of occupation.

Michael Henwood, a Port McNeill logger and karat caving enthusiast who visits the area often observed that whoever cut the cedar down was not an experienced tree faller. The aftermath looked irregular and dangerous, the grapple yarder operator said, noting in a comment on his Facebook page that the person who did this nearly killed themselves in the process. His posts about the vandalism have been shared thousands of times with several hundred comments expressing disgust, sadness, confusion and anger at the incident.

“You need to read all the peoples’ comments directed to you; and I hope your family is proud of you. All we can say is; Shame on you….. Reveal Yourself…..,” Henwood wrote in a post.

Anutz Lake is like the dot under the exclamation point of Nimpkish Lake, just west of Highway 19 between Port McNeill and Woss. The area is popular for hiking and water sports.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca


Arts and culture

 

The Spirit of Anutz carving on a culturally modified cedar was cut down and stolen in August from Anutz Lake. (Michael Henwood photo)

Just Posted

Teaching the teachers: investing in student success

Campbell River School District hires 11 new teacher coordinators

Dougal the blind raven enjoys role as ambassador at North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre

Bird helps animal care technicians teach visitors about his species

Alberni celebrates First Nations heritage with new mural

Image at the entrance of Harbour Quay depicts the history of Tseshaht First Nation

EDITORIAL: It’s time to move on Bamfield Road project

Residents are tired of their pleas being ignored, like they have been for the past two decades

Vancouver Island dance classes billed as female empowerment tool

New Comox Valley business focuses on ‘promoting positive body image’

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Development permit approved for new auto dealership in Nanaimo

City council votes in favour of Mitsubishi building design proposal, including variances

Nanaimo RCMP resumes fingerprinting, police information check services

Certain services now available by appointment at detachment

Comox Valley Ringette Association requests equal ice time

Organizers want system changed to ensure gender equity for ice sports other than hockey

Nanaimo musician plays all instruments on DIY debut album

Jamie Penner releasing guitar-centric instrumental record ‘Out of Curiosity’

Most Read