The unexpected pleasure stumbling upon one of these beauties on a midwinter ski trip in the backcountry. This old giant is on the south side of Capilano Mountain just outside the watershed.
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.
First of I love trees. We have a beautiful huge red oak that I planted 22 yrs ago in our back garden. The birds love it. We also have a large western hemlock which I saved from the side of the road 21 yrs ago when the grader was approaching. I love the forests and walking in them. I have tree pictures for screen savers. Big or small, young or old, Entish or not,flowering of conifer,I could never live without being surrounded by these wonderful life giving beings.
Walking through the woods in the BC, I marvel at the size of the remaining first growth stumps. I often try to imagine just how awesome it would be if those trees, along with all the ecosystems and wildlife they support, were still standing there, wherever I am. All of BC was like that, once. All of it! It's almost too much to imagine! What a fantasy. Without old growth forests, we will never have a living, breathing example of just how much we have taken from BC and the planet. We need old growth not just to support those small pockets of ecosystems and species that need them to survive, but to remind ourselves just how destructive we can be. I hope one day more forest is protected so that it can return to similar maturity. We need more matures forests, not fewer. #smallfamilyethic