I last visited Port Alberni in 2003. I still feel a connection to Cathedral Grove. I was born in Port Alberni in 1953. The city then had several mills – sawmills, plywood, shakes and shingles and then one monster of pulp and paper mill. There were probably 50 – 100 mills if not more spread throughout Vancouver Island at the industry’s peak. They are almost all gone. Most of the island that can be logged has been logged. I can still see in my minds eye clear cut logging encroaching on the boundaries of the grove.
It is time for a moratorium. To treat the island’s forests as a carbon sink rather than as a harvestable resource. As a viable ecosystem rather than industrial lands. We have proven that we cannot harvest sustainably. Old growth stands that are left should be preserved absolutely whether on private or crown lands as a public trust. We can no longer rely on a bureacracy that inherits and some argue preserves a culture of clear cutting to the end.