The magic of Avatar Grove
Vancouver Island Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
April 19th, 2010 – by: hummingbird50
Yes they really call it that.
It was originally called TFL (Tree Farm License) 46. They changed the name to Avatar Grove, so that it would gain some recognition to try to stop the logging of this forest that has never been logged before.
I am told that this part of the forest that is nestled close to Port Renfrew (which is the main starting point for West Coast trail hiking)...has never been logged before. The area I am told was hit by a hurricane in 1922 (I can't find anything to back this up on the computer) (So I will have to go to the Sooke Museum and see if I can dig anything up) the winds were so strong that it felled many trees on the west coast part of the Island.
You can see the markings that many loggers and environmentalist's have marked...but there are no real trails here...just gotta walk through...and do your best. It's so beautiful in amongst so many great tall trees...if only I could hear some of their stories.
The day was perfect, no rain (bonus)...and wee peeks of sun..some cloud. The air was so fresh...once you got into the forest you felt like you were in a different time, such grand old trees standing still...the oldest may be around 900 years old. YeT not the oldest on the island (chee What is around 3000-5000 years old and still standing) (I will add a photo at the end). But majestic all the same. The Carmanah Valley is much mores dense...but I loved this spot still. I could smell the ground beneath me, all the old soil in fresh wet air...with a bit of a warm breeze that hits you face...very earthy...and beautiful. I could hear many birds twittering about...telling stories to their mates...I could hear the river, making it's way into the ocean.
Okay and bit of history...and update:
An exceptionally spectacular and accessible stand of newly discovered old growth red cedars and Douglas firs near Port Renfrew has recently been tagged for logging. The unprotected forest on Crown Lands about 19 kilometers north of Port Renfrew, nicknamed the "Avatar Grove" after the movie for it's awe-inspiring beauty and alien shaped, enormous trees covered in burls, was discovered in December 2009 by island photographer TJ Watt.
In a return visit by Watt and environmentalist Ken Wu, both co-founders of the new Ancient Forest Alliance www.
"This area is just about the most accessible and finest stand of ancient trees left in a wilderness setting on the South Island", stated Ken Wu. "All other unprotected old growth stand near Victoria are either on steep, rugged terrain far beyond bumpy logging roads, or are small isolated stands surrounded by clear cuts and second growths. This area is a wild region on vast crown lands, in a complex of perhaps 1500 hectares of old growth in the Gordon River Valley - only 5 minutes off the paved road, right beside the main logging road, and good terrain.
Avatar Grove is being logged by a surrey based business. The grove is home to dozens of some of the south islands largest red cedars and Douglas firs, some over 12 feet in diameter.
Old-growth forests are important for sustaining species at risk, tourism, clean water,.....so okay I may filter the water because really who has been in those rivers and, where did they start from, how high up in the mountains, how many bogs did that water go through...although I know there are lots of clean rivers...I just don't know which ones they are...so to avoid Beaver Fever...errrmmmm bring drinking water, or a good filter :):):) The grove being close to Gordon river which is home to steelhead and salmon runs, much evidence of cougars and elk are apparent in the grove.
So come with me in the land of Vancouver island bit of magic...and enjoy the picture show...
Have a great walk as you enter a forest of fun and a wee bit of magic !!!!
For it may soon be gone........
I will up-date this sight...as time passes along....
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