Trails through the Ancient Forest built by a local volunteer society saw 20

Old-growth forest park proclaimed

Microclimate east of Prince George has giant cedars more than 1,000 years old, to be nominated as UN World Heritage Site

B.C.’s newest Class A provincial park is an 11,000-hectare expanse of the world’s only inland temperate rainforest east of Prince George.

Called the Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Wudujut, the region is being added to B.C.’s parks by legislation introduced this week. Premier Christy Clark said the province is also applying to have the park named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“Dedicated volunteers and community members have worked for years to protect this special habitat,” said Shirley Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemount. “Several of the trees in this historic natural wonder are more than 1,000 years old, with trunks measuring up to 16 metres around.”

Darwyn Coxson, professor of ecosystem science at the University of Northern B.C., said there is great interest in the oldest trees.

“We’ve counted to about 1,200 to 1,300 years, and we think they’re older than that,” Coxson said. “The big cedar stands are in very protected, sheltered sites at the base of the mountain where there are lots of springs. It’s very moist and it prevents forest fires from going into these stands, so they’re very localized microclimates.”

He said about two thirds of the ancient cedar stands in the region have been logged over the years, and the park and surrounding old-growth management areas protect the rest.

The park is a joint project of the provincial government, the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation and the Caledonia Ramblers Hiking Society, which signed an agreement in July 2015 to protect the area’s ancient cedar stands.

The society built and maintains three kilometres of hiking trails through the forest that saw 20,000 visitors in 2015.

The legislation makes other parks changes:

• a 136-hectare marine foreshore addition to Halkett Bay Marine Park in Howe Sound, to protect a recently discovered glass sponge reef southeast of Gambier Island

• additions including private land acquisition of 2.2 hectares of land at Prudhomme Lake Park near Prince Rupert, 263 hectares added to Okanagan Mountain Park and 28.5 hectares added to the Sheemahant Conservancy, a remote rainforest on B.C.’s central coast

• removing the words Haynes Point and Okanagan Falls from swiws and sxwexnitkw parks in the South Okanagan, following an agreement reached with the Osoyoos Indian Band in 2015.

 

Just Posted

Ferry connecting Port Hardy and Bella Coola expected to set sail this summer

Its first in-service route will sail in central coast waters on May 18, 2019.

BC Parks Student Ranger Program accepting applications for 2019 season

12 crews of four student rangers will work in regions throughout the province including Bella Coola.

Over $650,00 given to rural communities thanks to Rural Dividends

Five communities, including Williams Lake, are receiving $10,000 for project grants

Pregnant Cariboo firefighter tries to save own house from blaze

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Road report for Highway 20

Fog patches and slippery sections; Drive BC

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

Most Read