AFA Executive Director Ken Wu stands alongside a row of Sitka spruce and western hemlock trees growing in a line out of a nurse log in the unprotected FernGully Grove near Port Renfrew. (Photo by TJ Watt)

Old-growth forest discovered outside Port Renfrew

Environmental group reaches out to government for funding to purchase and protect the land

The Ancient Forest Alliance has discovered a “magnificent old-growth forest” located 10 minutes away from Port Renfrew.

It’s the second major unprotected old-growth forest found this year.

The new forest is nicknamed FurnGully Grove, due to its vast understory of ferns, which makes it a good habitat for Roosevelt elk, black-tailed deer, wolves, cougars, and black bears, said AFA officials.

FurnGully Grove is also home to an 11-foot wide Sitka spruce tree, the 10th largest in Canada, according to the B.C. Big Tree Registry, as well as many other six to eight feet wide giants.

However, this new-found natural gem’s existence could potentially be in danger, as the land is owned by TimberWest and could be logged at any time, said AFA.

“This is the most impressive unprotected Sitka spruce grove we’ve come across in years,” said Ken Wu, AFA executive director.

“Finding a grove of unprotected giant Sitka spruce is highly significant, given that the vast majority them on Vancouver Island have been logged in the valley bottoms where they grow.”

The forest that was discovered earlier this year, called Jurassic Grove, is located along a three-kilometre stretch between Jordan River and Port Renfrew and is described as another Avatar Grove because of its accessibility, gentle terrain, and amazing trees.

“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 per cent of the forests like this have been logged on the South Island,” said Wu.

Though there are no proposed plans of logging Jurassic Grove, and there is no survey tape indicating FernGully will be logged yet, Wu said the groves need to be bought and protected by the province.

He added that TimberWest has agreed to not log some contentious sites they they own in the past, such as the Koksilah Ancient Forest, and hopes they will do the same for FernGully.

 

A man walks through a thicket of sword ferns in the unprotected FernGully Grove near Port Renfrew (Photo by TJ Watt)

Just Posted

Nightly closures on West Coast Highway delayed until June

Daytime roadwork on Alberni/Tofino connector to begin May 7

Greater Victoria farm swamped with goat cuddling offers

The wee goats need to get used to humans before ‘goat yoga’ launches

MLA Stilwell chairing B.C. Liberals’ new affordability committee

Opposition thinking about election readiness

Refugee family meets supporters at Parksville’s Ascension Church

MP calls congregation’s efforts an “inspiring story for all Canadians”

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Prankster broadcasts fake nuclear threat in Winnipeg

The audio recording on Sunday warned of a nuclear attack against Canada and the United States

ICBC reform aims to slow rising car insurance costs

‘Pain and suffering’ payouts to be capped, major injury limit to double

Saskatchewan introduces law to allow control of oil, gas exports

The Prairie province has already said it is supporting Alberta in a dispute with B.C. over the Trans Mountain pipeline

Renewed plea for answers in 40-year-old B.C. cold case

The family of Lawrence Wellington Allard is hoping a private reward will get them some closure

Pipeline project protesters stage morning event outside CRA office

Intersection is also busy with ongoing construction activity, caution advised for drivers

UPDATED: Arrest made after van hits pedestrians in Toronto

Police are not saying what is the extent of injuries yet

B.C. farmland values grew at slower rate in 2017: report

Vancouver Island saw the highest growth in the province

Lt. Governor back in the saddle, with a legacy of land stewardship

Judith Guichon ends term today, returns to Nicola Valley ranch

Most Read