Pretty amazed! The Guardian has published an excerpt from author Harley Rustad's book Big Lonely Doug as well as some of my photographs 🌲 BLD has become a symbol for both the grandeur and destruction of BC's old-growth forests. His message is reaching audiences around the world but as old-growth trees once again roll past him on the backs of logging trucks, will the BC NDP actually listen and finally protect these endangered ancient forests? See the article here: www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/05/the-last-great-tree-a-majestic-relic-of-canadas-vanishing-boreal-forest
New logging has commenced on Edinburgh Mountain, an exceptional old-growth forest “hotspot” near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island and the location of Big Lonely Doug (Canada’s second largest Douglas-fir tree) and the spectacular Eden Grove. AFA campaigners visited the cutblock December 15th and were dismayed to find scores of giant trees cut down, including two-meter-wide cedars and an extremely rare, two-meter-wide, old-growth Douglas-fir. Over 15 hectares is being logged by Teal Jones, which adds to the over 75 ha of old-growth forest the company has logged on the mountain since 2016.
Just 50 meters away from the active cutblock stands a Douglas-fir tree that is the 6th widest Douglas-fir tree on record, according to the BC Big Tree Registry, and the 7th widest when including the Alberni Giant in the Nahmint Valley. While the near record-sized tree is located within a Wildlife Habitat Area, it remains vulnerable to future logging. Old-growth hotspots of high conservation and recreational value, like Edinburgh Mountain, are disappearing before our eyes and will be reduced to tattered fragments if action isn’t taken soon. The BC government must enact an immediate halt to logging in hotspots to ensure the largest and best stands of remaining ancient forests are kept intact and develop a science-based plan to protect endangered old-growth forests across BC! Send them an instant message at: www.ancientforestalliance.org/send-a-message
Be sure to check out Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, the latest documentary film by the award-winning creators of Manufactured Landscapes (2006) and Watermark (2013).
The film, which had shoots in 43 locations in 20 different countries, also features scenes of Avatar Grove and old-growth logging on Vancouver Island as one of many examples of how humans are dramatically altering the natural world.
I had the amazing opportunity of guiding the crew to the big trees and big stumps around Port Renfrew over the past 2 years and it's been a great reminder that, even on a global scale, the ancient forests of BC are some of the most precious and threatened places on the planet.
The film features some of my own footage too, including recent logging in the Nahmint Valley and raw log exports in Port Alberni. For more than a decade I have looked up to renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky and I'm honoured to have worked alongside him and the rest of the talented team as well.
Read director Jennifer Baichwal's recent interview in the Times Colonist.
Below are a few behind-the-scenes snaps from our time shooting in Port Renfrew.
After missing the record breaking waves that hit the coast recently, some friends and I decided to see if we could still catch some storm action over the next weekend. The cove at Sombrio Beach always puts on a good show and this day was no exception. Waves hitting the rocks were blasting 50-60ft in the air and even swallowing the waterfall whole! It's such a natural high being surrounded by the raw and powerful forces of nature.
Standing in line at the grocery store or waiting at the doctor's office, I never guessed that one of my photos would end up in a Reader's Digest, but this shot of Matthew Beatty climbing Big Lonely Doug is featured in the latest issue with a story by Harley Rustad. I wonder if Doug knows just how famous he's become?
Last week I finally made the 3km trek to Payzant Creek along the Juan De Fuca Trail near Port Renfrew. Nestled in a beautiful patch of old-growth forest, a series of small waterfalls flow through the sculpted sandstone creek. Time spent alone in hidden pockets of nature like this are food for the mind and soul. I love how the bubbles spiraling in an eddy on the left showed up in the photo as well. Click here to order a print of this image.