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
The Walbran Valley harbours some of the finest ancient forests remaining on southern Vancouver Island. This amazing big-tree forest has been the subject of Wilderness Committee preservation campaigns since the 1980s.
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.
A culturally modified tree.
This tree was discovered and used by the First Nations of Flores Island over 150 years ago. It was rediscovered in 1994 during a culturally modified tree survey. Two planks or boards have been removed. The small chop marks indicate where there is a hole in this tree, this tree was also 'tested' to see if the wood was of high enough quality to make a good canoe. It did not pass the test. - Stanley Sam Sr. of the Ahousaht First Nations, Ahousaht Wild Side Heritage Trail Guidebook .
Laetiporus - commonly known as sulphur shelf, chicken of the woods, the chicken mushroom or the chicken fungus because people think it tastes like chicken.
From late spring to early autumn, the sulphur shelf thrives, making it a boon to mushroom hunters and a bane to those concerned about the health of their trees. This fungus causes a brown cubical rot and embrittlement which in later stages ends in the collapse of the host tree, as it can no longer flex and bend in the wind.
Views from Kutcous Point on the Ahousaht Wild Side Heritage Trail.
On my first visit to Flores in the summer of 1996, an angry swarm of mud wasps drove us back up the Wild Side path when we inadvertently trampled their trailside nest. We took a moment to regroup. I put long pants on my 8-year-old daughter Kick. Then we dashed pas the nest, laughing and screaming through the forest, as the furious swarm pursued us out onto the beautiful beach at Cow Bay and into the surf. Kick still recalls that hysterical sprint as the high point of her Canadian vacation. That walk and my subsequent hike on the Wild Side Trail during the summer of 1997 are experiences that will stay with me forever--the towering groves of Sitka spruce and cedar, the powerful smell and feel of hand hewn cedar boardwalks, the spectacular unspoiled beaches scattered with giant moon snail shells and sand dollars, the clean cool streams and estuaries which we forded on the trunk of a toppled spruce or with an invigorating swim... ...I want to thank the Ahousahts for sharing their land and history so generously and for being such wonderful hosts to me and my family and friends. They have made themselves vigilant guardians of their resources on behalf of all humanity.
Our flight from the angry wasps reminded me that on Flores, nature has not yet been conquered. The determination of the Ahousaht people as embodied in their Wild Side Heritage Trail, is the best hope that it never shall. -- Robert F. Kennedy Jr.,"Ahousaht Wild Side Heritage Trail Guidebook" by Stanley Sam Sr. of the Ahousaht First Nations.
Our Vancouver Island Campaigner Torrance Coste petting Lazy the dog on a trip to the Ahousaht for trail building.
The Ahousaht Wild Side Heritage Trail is an 11 km hiking route linking the native village of Ahousaht on the southeast side of Flores Island with a dozen sandy beaches and rainforested headlands on the wild west side of the Island. The trail was used by many generations of Nuu-chah-nulth inhabitants. In recent years some sections of the trail has become overgrown. - Stanley Sam Sr. of the Ahousaht First Nations
The Wilderness Committee led a group of 40+ people from Victoria and Refugee Centre and the Intercultural Association on Victoria on a day trip to the unprotected Central Walbran Valley!
We explored the old-growth rainforest, spent time at Walbran Falls and talked about the importance of this incredible ecosystem.
Huge thank you to the Health Science Association of BC for sponsoring the trip and to all those who attended. #walbran#walbranvalley#environment#wild
My favourite thing about these banner drops is seeing what a wide cross section of society supports the fight against this pipeline. Can drivers, truckers, people in convertables and rustbuckets alike... Richmond & Surrey are ready to Resist Kinder Morgan!!! #bcpoli#StopKM#cdnpoli
Awesome time last #weekend at 4th annual #Walbran convergence in Pacheedaht territory! + ppl, ancient #forest & #trees, #swimming in the Emerald Pool, community meals and working on truly #sustainable forestry. Swimming photo by Ricky Belanger. Night #sky photo by Scott Neves.