B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson announces preservation of big trees outside parks, Francis/King Regional Park, Saanich, July 17, 2019. (B.C. government)

B.C. moves to preserve 54 of its biggest, oldest trees

Fir, cedar, spruce, pine, yew set aside from logging

The B.C. government is protecting 54 of its biggest trees, each with a one-hectare grove around it to act as a buffer zone.

The chosen trees are outside of parks and protected areas around the province, including Engelmann spruce in the North Okanagan, coastal Douglas fir in the Capital Regional District and Greater Vancouver, western red cedar and sitka spruce in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District and interior Douglas fir in the Cariboo, Columbia-Shuswap and Thompson-Nicola Regional Districts.

The list includes three Pacific yew trees in Greater Vancouver and 14 sitka spruce in the Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District.

RELATED: B.C. has world’s most sustainably managed forests

RELATED: B.C. mills struggle with log shortage, price slump

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said the initial preservation is the start of a larger program to preserve old-growth forests, more than half of which are already protected on the B.C. coast. The 54 trees were selected from the University of B.C.’s big tree registry, which lists 347 trees that are on either private or Crown land and could be harvested under current regulations.

Donaldson has appointed Gary Merkel, a natural resource expert and member of the Tahltan Nation, and Al Gorley, a forester and former chair of the Forest Practices Board, to tour the province and make recommendations to the minister next spring.

Regulation changes will be passed to set minimum diameter and other factors for protection as they are discovered, Donaldson said.

The B.C. Green Party accused the NDP government of using the big-tree project to distract from a lack of protection for coastal old-growth forest, citing 1,300 hectares of logging on Vancouver Island via the government agency B.C. Timber Sales.

“The amount the government says is protected has been inflated by unproductive forests that are not as ecologically valuable or economically productive,” Green MLA Sonia Furstenau said. “Adding 54 trees to that number is not going to be enough to ensure that these forests are intact for years to come.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Highway 1 closed near Golden for high avalanche danger

DriveBC does not give an estimation for reopening

Kicking Horse Update Friday January 24

Kicking Horse reports 9 cm of snow in the last 24 hours,… Continue reading

Highway Update, Friday January 24

A vehicle incident has led to Highway 1 being closed in both… Continue reading

Trans-Canada to close at 11 a.m. for avalanche work

The highway will be closed until 2 p.m.

Women take centre stage at NHL all-star skills competition

Canada beat the United States 2-1 in a spirited 3-on-3 game between female players Friday night

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

B.C.’s oldest practising lawyer celebrates 100th birthday, shares advice

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Most Read