Protect the Mossy Maple Rainforest

Protect the Mossy Maple Rainforest
Created:
Wednesday, 28 December 2011
Community Project Admins:

project-mossymaples

 

"With their mossy and fern-draped branches, luxuriant green understories, and giant meandering trunks, BC's spectacular ancient bigleaf maple forests resemble those of fairy tales." This is the introduction that had SocialCoast inspired to work with the Ancient Forest Alliance on this project.

 

'Protect the Mossy Maple Rainforest' was a project that was as much about protecting this particular area as it was raising awareness about all of the beautiful old-growth forest that is constantly under the threat of irresponsible logging.

 

To find out more about what we aimed to accomplished, please watch the video in the right-hand column. Also, check out the photos from the hike to Refugee Trail.

 

The Inspiration: 

 

From the Ancient Forest Alliance spells out clearly why we need to change the way we think about forestry practices: "The vast majority of forested lands in southern BC are now second-growth, including about 80% of the productive forest lands on BC's southern coast. A full transition into only logging second-growth forests is inevitable when the last of the unprotected old-growth forests are logged out. For the sake of future generations, we need to make the transition into a second-growth, value-added forest industry soon, BEFORE we eliminate the remaining unprotected old-growth forests. By logging second-growth stands at a slower, more sustainable rate of cut, and manufacturing more wood products here in BC – rather than increasing the export of raw logs to foreign mills – we can protect old-growth forests and sustain and create forestry jobs at the same time."

 

From that statement in 2010, we look ahead to the recent discovery of another unprotected forest that is under threat. A unique, beautiful, and rare forest dubbed the "Mossy Maple Rainforest". It was a forest of bigleaf maples that grow up to 3 meters (10 feet) in trunk diameter and live to over 300 years, making them among the largest deciduous trees in North America. They are also among the mossiest trees on Earth, covered from bottom to top in hanging plants. Some Vancouver Island farms and woodlots have recently begun tapping bigleaf maples to make BC maple syrup, creating an economic incentive to keep our maple groves standing. Currently the demand for bigleaf maple syrup far surpasses the supply. 

 

The unprotected Mossy Maple Rainforest is in the traditional territory of the Hul'qumi'num First Nations, whose Land Use Plan calls for the protection of the remaining old-growth forest in their territory. The Mossy Maple Rainforest consists of two ancient groves, one on private lands ("owned" by the BC Investment Management Corporation) and another on nearby Crown land. Dozens of the mossiest and ferniest old-growth and second-growth maples harbour a rich plant understory and support elk, deer, bears, wolves, and cougars. 

 

Collaborations:

 

SocialCoast is happy to have worked with the Ancient Forest Alliance on this project. We discovered how very important these last stands of old growth forest are to our environment and our people. A special thanks goes out to Ken Wu, TJ Watt, Lliam Hildebrand, Landon Crawford, Eric Nordal, Nikki Dillman, Stephen Portman, Chloe Tunis, and many others for helping out with this project.

 

Get Involved:

 

For more information about this project, to sign the petition, and to take further action on protecting old growth forests in BC, please go to the Ancient Forest Alliance website or email lliam@socialcoast.org

 

Perhaps you'd like to spearhead your own commnunity project? Click here to submit an idea!

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