Located behind Shawnigan Lake, the Koksilah Grove is one of the best stands of old-growth Douglas-fir left anywhere, and is relatively accessible. Surprisingly, a few of the guys had never been there, so we packed up and headed out.
Along the way, we chatted and joked around, but when the trail turned and we walked between the first of the giants, the mood instantly changed. All conversation stopped, and everyone wandered around, staring upwards, feeling the awe that only an old-growth forest can inspire. I even caught a couple of them with their mouths wide open.
Watching my friends, I was reminded of famous world wonders that I’ve been lucky enough to see, like Machu Picchu or Niagara Falls. And that struck me as weird, because these weren’t tourists I was with – they weren’t visitors from faraway, less-forested places – they were all locals who grew up in the coastal temperate rainforest.
Koksilah River Grove is one of the last stands of old-growth Douglas Fir forests on the island and it is still unprotected. This beautiful grove is located about 60 minutes from Victoria, near Shawnigan Lake. Did you know that old-growth Douglas Firs have been reduced to 1 percent of their original numbers here on Vancouver Island? - Torrance Coste, Vancouver Island Campaigner
Photo credit: Jacob Wise
Further south on Vancouver Island, in the unceded territory of the Pacheedaht Nation, sits Kaxi:ks, or the Walbran Valley. The old growth rainforest is still being clearcut by Teal Jones logging company despite public outcry, blockades and extensive campaigning by the Wilderness Committee and others.
For the past two summers, we’ve partnered with the grassroots Friends of Carmanah/Walbran to build boardwalks and trails into Teal Jones’ planned cutblocks. Because of these efforts, thousands of citizens have seen and borne witness to the ten-thousand-year-old ecosystem Teal Jones wants to liquidate for profit.
This year, we partnered with the Friends on three trips, building boardwalks and expanding trails into several different parts of the Walbran. .
The long journey that salmon take every year has always amazed me. Small and vulnerable, juvenile salmon make their way from streambeds to the open ocean. Years later, they somehow find their way back to spawn in the same rivers where they were born. Their four-year journey from birth to death takes them from rivers far in the interior to the deep ocean and back again. During their amazing life cycle they play a critical role in nourishing the people and wildlife of this province. First Nations people, orcas, eagles, bears, and our forests all depend on the life-giving feast of wild salmon. They are the knot that ties our ecosystems together, the foundation that everything else is built on.
Wild salmon used to be plentiful in hundreds of rivers across B.C.. Habitat destruction and urban sprawl have created many “lost streams” where salmon used to breed, but no longer do. Over the last 10 years, the rate of return in the key Fraser River run has been steadily declining. Last year’s devastating collapse of the very same run that is so bountiful this year shows us just how fragile salmon are—and how little we know about the systems that support them.
Just northwest of Wah-nuh-jus—Hilthoois Tribal Park is the unceded territory of the Ahousaht Nation, where we led two trips this summer. In January, Ahousaht unveiled its land use vision – and ambitious goal that sets aside 80 per cent of Ahousaht territory from logging and bans destructive activities like mining.
Our trips to the Wildside featured up-close wildlife sightings, lunch-breaks on sunny white-sand beaches, and several kilometers of trail cleared of dense overgrown underbrush.
The boat trip out to Flores Island, a twice-daily commute for some Ahousaht people, is a breathtaking event for the rest of us. Camping along the trail, we spoke to many hikers, each one humbled and amazed by the power and richness of this territory.
. #Ahousaht#wildernesscommittee#wildernessculture#westmakesyouwander#westmakesyouwilder#thatpnwlife#pnwonderland #amazingvanisland#sunset_ig#bc#ilovebc#TrailBuilding#happyhiker
Rising up from the ocean, the emerald green ancient forests of Meares Island form the backdrop of the tourist and fishing town of Tofino, BC, Canada.
Situated in the heart of Clayoquot (pronounced "Klak-wot") Sound, Tofino is on the west coast of Vancouver Island and is where the Trans Canada Highway hits the wideopen Pacific Ocean. As anyone who has visited Clayoquot Sound knows, this place is a symphony of nature connected to the rest of Canada by a ribbon of blacktop.
To fend off impending logging plans, Meares Island was first designated a "Tribal Park" on April 21, 1984 by the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations, supported by its neighbours, the Ahousaht First Nations. Meares Island's 8,500 hectares of spectacular ancient forests make this tribal park a favourite with west coast visitors.
Cortes Island - part of the incredible Discovery Islands, nestled between central Vancouver Island and British Columbia’s mainland. While the island itself perfectly represents the awesome natural appeal of coastal British Columbia, I discovered that the most beautiful part of Cortes was its people: passionate citizens fighting to protect their forests and find better, more responsible ways of operating the forest economy.
What I’d learned about Cortes beforehand was a story all too common in coastal British Columbia – one I’ve encountered in many small communities I’ve visited. Cortes Islanders are passionate, proud of, and connected to their forests. And for good reason: the older forest is incredibly healthy, featuring stands of legitimate old-growth, which is extremely rare in the dry western hemlock and coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems. Much of this forest is threatened by industrial logging, as are the countless endangered species and the high recreational value these lands hold. - Torrance Coste, Vancouver island Campaigner .
Chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) The name chum salmon comes from the Chinook Jargon term tzum, meaning "spotted" or "marked."
Most chum salmon spawn in small streams and intertidal zones. Some chum travel more than 3,200 km (2,000 mi) up the Yukon River. Chum fry migrate out to sea from March through July, almost immediately after becoming free swimmers. They spend one to three years traveling very long distances in the ocean. These are the last salmon to spawn (November to January) in some regions. In Alaska they are the first to spawn in June and August and are then followed by pink and coho salmon. They die about two weeks after they return to the freshwater to spawn. They utilize the lower tributaries of the watershed, tend to build nests called redds, really little more than protected depressions in the gravel, in shallow edges of the watercourse and at the tail end of deep pools. The female lays eggs in the redd, the male sprays milt on the eggs, and the female covers the eggs with gravel. The female can lay up to 4000 eggs.
. #salmon#westmakesyouwander#beyondtheusual#explorebc#pnw#modernoutdoorsman#keepitwild#liveauthentic#ourplanetdaily#westmakesyouwilder#wildernessculture#throughthepines#stayandwander # igcanada #nature#facts
Rhododendron macrophyllum - the California Rhododendron likes shade and cool, dry environments. This plant prefers to grow under trees. In California it grows in the shade of the Redwoods; in Washington State it likes the forests of Douglas fir, cedar or ponderosa pine.
Lewisia rediviva - or bitterroot found in South Okanagan, BC
French trappers knew the plant as racine amère (bitter root). The roots were consumed by tribes such as the Shoshone and the Flathead indigenous peoples as an infrequent delicacy. Traditionally, the Ktunaxa cooked bitterroot with grouse. For the Ktunaxa, bitterroot is eaten with sugar; other tribes prefer eating it with salt.
The Lemhi Shoshone believed the small red core found in the upper taproot had special powers, notably being able to stop a bear attack.