WATCH: Ancient Forest Alliance discovers unknown old-growth forest near Jordan River. Isabelle Raghem reports.
The group that discovered the Avatar Grove nearly a decade ago, has located a grove of unprotected old-growth trees between Jordan River and Port Renfrew.
“For now we’ve nicknamed the old-growth forest between Lines to Loss Creek as the ‘Jurassic Grove’, which will hopefully become ‘Jurassic Park’ one day if it is protected," says the Ancient Forest Alliance Executive Director, Ken Wu.
It is located along a 3 kilometer stretch alongside the 48 kilometre long Juan de Fuca Marine Trail Provincial Park, about a 20 minute drive south of Port Renfrew along highway 14.
While most of the grove’s 130 hectares of old-growth is protected within a Marbled Murelet Wildlife Habitat Area, about 40 hectares is on unprotected Crown lands without any type of regulatory or legislated protection.
"The worst fear is it gets logged. Right now there are no plans, but there could be in the future,"says Wu.
The area was located by TJ Watts, campaigner & photographer with the Ancient Forest Alliance, a few weeks ago after noticing a large cedar along the trail.
"I figure if there's one, there's got to be more. So I started bushwacking," says Watts.
He discovered dozens of old-growth trees.
The group is hoping 'Jurassic Park' could raise awareness of all endangered old-growth forests and be a great boost for local tourism.
"Thousands of tourists from around the world now come to visit the old-growth trees around Port Renfrew, hugely bolstering the regional economy of southern Vancouver Island," says Wu.
According to the Ancient Forest Alliance, on BC’s southern coast "satellite photos show that at least 75% of the original, productive old-growth forests have been logged, including well over 90% of the valley bottoms where the largest trees grow. Only about 8% of Vancouver Island’s original, productive old-growth forests are protected in parks and Old-Growth Management Areas".