British Columbia moves to protect old growth in Avatar Grove
The Government of British Columbia announced today that all of Avatar Grove, a unique stand of old-growth cedars near Port Renfrew, is now protected in an expanded old growth management area.
After a public review and comment period during fall 2011, the existing old-growth management area around Avatar Grove has now been expanded to 59.4 hectares, protecting the grove in its entirety. There were 236 comments received during the public review period, with 232 expressing support.
Old-growth management areas conserve biodiversity and wildlife species associated with old-growth forests. These ecosystems provide plant and animal habitat, are excluded from timber harvesting and are usually available for public use.
To fulfil the Province’s obligation to Teal-Jones Group, which holds the logging rights for Tree Farm Licence 46 where Avatar Grove is located, the boundaries of other old-growth management areas were adjusted by removing 57.4 hectares.
In today’s announcement, the provincial government said protecting Avatar Grove in an old-growth management area reflects the provincial government’s ongoing commitment to preserve unique ecosystems for the enjoyment of all British Columbians.
Of the 862,125 hectares of old-growth forests on Crown land on Vancouver Island, it’s estimated that over 520,000 hectares will never be harvested.
More information about the old growth management area amendments related to Avatar Grove is available at: http://www.ilmb.gov.bc.ca/content/documents/2010/02/18/public-review-and-comment-legal-orders