British Columbia: Last old giant firs among us deserve protection!

Within Royal Roads University federal land and in Metchosin are the
largest Coastal Douglas fir stands left on the south Island but they
need protection, said Ken Wu, Western Canada Wilderness Committee
campaign director. “Not a lot of people realize we actually have some
significant stands of old growth fir in the Capital Regional
District,” Wu said.

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Many of those trees are located on federal, provincial and private
land, but aren’t protected by provincial legislation, he said. Local
governments and individual land owners are doing their part to ensure
the trees are protected, it’s time the provincial government was
proactive as well, Wu said.

The committee is urging the government to
protect the 100 largest trees of each species, many of which are
recognized through the provincial Register of Big Trees. Tofino or
Clayquot Sound may be more likely to conjure images of large trees for
many people but there are giants in urban areas as well. Clearly
visible from Ocean Boulevard in Colwood, a Douglas fir towers over
nearby trees. With a circumference of 23 feet, the tree is incredible,
Wu said.

“That’s pretty incredible to have just along the (road), Wu
said. Several of the area’s biggest trees have been growing on RRU
land for centuries. Officially entered in the big tree registry, one
Douglas fir stands 241 feet tall with a circumference of 28 feet. A
grand fir towers 212 feet high from a base 15 feet around. Old growth
supports a unique ecosystem of trees, plants and animals. In a more
urban setting it is all the more important to protect the old trees
because the ecosystems have already been compromised by development,
Wu said. “(Urban old growth) becomes the focal point for people to
learn about old growth forests and nature,” he said.

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Comments (1)

JimSeptember 23rd, 2009 at 7:41 pm

All of the biggest ones were torched 100 years ago. There is hardly a trace of the forest that once existed. Today, Finding a fir tree 300 feet tall is like a front page news story…

Back in the day, 18 year old boys were cutting 300 footers for firewood, and the big ones up to 400 feet they left standing until the wind blew them down. We just don’t have any more giant Douglas firs, they have been plucked like gold nuggets.

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