‘To restore old growth forests’: Lantzville protects area to grow future old-growth forest

CHEK

Lantzville has just taken a step which it believes is a first in B.C., protecting 15 acres of forest as future old-growth forest.

According to Lantzville Coun. Ian Savage, 15 acres of forest in Lantzville’s foothills area will be protected for the old-growth forest zone.

“I believe this is the first of its kind in a B.C. municipality and the idea is to set aside a zone that’s specifically for growing an old-growth forest, and the idea is to restore old-growth forests that have been removed over the decades on Vancouver Island,” said Savage.

According to Savage, the plan is expected to become a concrete bylaw within weeks and is occurring during a building boom in the small community of 3,800 people. Savage said with construction projects that have already been approved by council, the district’s housing stock will grow by 76 per cent over the next 10 years.

“We hope in a few hundred years that future generations will look back and be grateful that this was done and set aside,” said Savage.

Lantzville resident Mike Thomas says he welcomes the news from the Lantzville council.

“It’s a start,” Thomas told CHEK News.

Living on Lantzville’s waterfront brings Thomas a bounty of beautiful sights every day. But he has one favourite feature in his yard that he said he would do anything to protect.

“This tree out here is 750-years-old,” said Thomas, pointing to a towering Douglas Fir on Monday. According to Thomas, he estimates the tree to be 750-years-old due to growth rings he counted on one that was felled next to it years ago.

“I would chain myself to that tree,” said Thomas.

The big fir is one of the few remaining old growth trees to be found in Lantzville, since it has been logged and developed for decades.

Longtime Lantzville resident Hilda Higgs said she is glad for the move right now.

“It’s always good to look ahead. Foresight’s better than hindsight isn’t it and that’s what usually happens,” said Higgs.

As Lantzville lays the roots of a community to be enjoyed for generations to come.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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