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The Many 'Frames' of Old Growth Trees

Ancient forests are valuable in so many ways. They are socially and spiritually valuable as places of refuge, reflection, and respite. They connect us in a tangible and living way to our ancestors and the deep past. As an historian, I find it deeply moving to think that many trees on Vancouver Island were already quite old when Notre Dame de Paris was first being built. They are economically valuable as sites of eco-tourism, and many people travel to and within British Columbia to be close to our living giants. (Hence the response from the Chamber of Commerce in Port Renfrew about proposed cut blocks near the Juan de Fuca trail.) They are environmentally valuable in so many ways, including as habitat for countless other creatures, as central nodes in mycelium networks (that transfer nutrients between trees), and for their ecosystem services, especially carbon sequestration. Part of the climate solution is to leave these forests alone, since they sequester vast quantities of carbon. Any society that values a holistic understanding of 'value' would want to conserve remaining old-growth forests.

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