Last week, the Pique published a story about an old growth Douglas fir near Loggers Lake that was found to be at least 750 years old. The headline called it ‘spectacular’ and the Cheakamus Community Forest (CCF) whole heartedly agrees! Thanks to the unique aspects of running a Community Forest managed by a non-profit partnership, the CCF protected many areas of old growth fir, cedar, and hemlock over the last decade.
Back in 2015, the CCF identified provincial old growth management areas that are legally protected from harvesting. It found many more areas in the tenure that also deserved protection because of ecological sensitivities, recreational use, or both. The CCF initiated an Integrated Resource Mapping Project where it met with the Squamish Nation, Lil’wat Nation, RMOW, WORCA, AWARE, Alpine Club of Canada, and commercial recreation operators to determine which additional areas should be protected.
From this collaborative approach, the CCF voluntarily agreed to set aside even more forest in what it calls Ecosystem-based Management (EBM) Reserves. At this point, about 50% of the full tenure is off limits to harvesting. Further, the CCF is committed to continuing its moratorium on logging old growth outside of these Reserves. The article didn’t give the Douglas fir’s exact location, but it is protected because of these commitments.
The area around Loggers Lake and Jane Lakes are included in EBM Reserves because of the ecological values and recreational use. Have a look at this map…the orange hatched areas outline all EBM Reserves in the tenure managed by the CCF. The solid orange polygons are other protected areas.
The CCF recognizes that these ecosystems are sensitive and important to our community. Unlike a privately held forest tenure, having a Community Forest allows these kinds of discussions, and decision-making that reflect our community values.