Published and News

The Walrus Magazine - Big Lonely Doug

The Walrus Magazine has recently published a story about Big Lonely Doug, the forestry worker Dennis Cronin who decided to leave him standing, and the battle for old-growth forests on Vancouver Island. The article by Harley Rustad features two of my photos, along with one from Dennis which shows the tree standing in the forest (never thought I would see that view!). Let's hope Doug's message is heard loud and clear and we save his old-growth friends who remain endangered on Edinburgh Mt. and across BC. Read the article here: https://thewalrus.ca/big-lonely-doug/

Here are some behind the scenes shots from my time showing writer Harley Rustad around to Big Lonely Doug and the adjacent Eden Grove, one of Vancouver Island's most spectacular and endangered ancient forests that was once part of the forest around Doug.

BC Magazine: An Old-Growth Battlefield - Can We Save Our Ancient Matriarchs?

The Fall issue of British Columbia Magazine has hit the newsstands and it includes a great feature article titled An Old-Growth Battlefield - Can We Save Our Ancient Matriarchs? by Hans Tammemagi. I spent 3 days with Hans, touring him around Port Renfrew to places like the Avatar Grove, Big Lonely Doug, Eden Grove, the San Juan Spruce, and the Central Walbran Valley. Happy to see three of my images featured in print as well! Grab a copy if you can :)

Press: Union of BC Municipalities Passes Resolution Calling for Old-Growth Protection

The chorus is growing!! The Union of BC Municipalities voted last week to support a resolution calling on the provincial government to end old-growth logging on Vancouver Island and amend the outdated 1994 land-use plan. This comes on the heels of the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities passing the same resolution and the BC Chamber of Commerce, representing 36,000 businesses across the province, passing a similar resolution. The BC Liberal government is now out on it's own in supporting the destruction of the island's last endangered old-growth ecosystems.

Press: Cover Photo - Climbing in the Carmanah

An image of mine from the research climb that took place in the Carmanah Valley's Stoltmann Grove earlier this summer has made the cover of UBC's Forestry Magazine! You can read the full story about the project on pages 16-17 here: http://forestry.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2011/11/BL-27.3.pdf

You can also hear Master's student Vincent Hanlon speaking with Bob McDonald on CBC's Quirks and Quarks about his research into genetic mutations in some of the country's tallest trees: www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks/quirks-quarks-for-september-10-2016-1.3754792/genetic-changes-in-the-lifetime-of-individual-trees-1.3754873

Press: Shaw TV Features Big Lonely Doug and the Eden Grove

I recently had the pleasure of touring a journalist from Victoria's Shaw TV to both Big Lonely Doug and the spectacular, yet endangered Eden Grove right next door. Check out the two resulting news pieces below, which also feature some of my drone clips and new video from my trail camera of a black bear climbing a giant cedar tree!


Drone Video - Climbing Big Lonely Doug: Round 2

Today I'm excited to have launched a new video which I filmed and edited featuring the Ancient Forest Alliance and Arboreal Collective's second climb up Big Lonely Doug, Canada's 2nd largest Douglas-fir tree! Doug has become the educational mascot of BCโ€™s endangered old-growth forests - his massive size highlights their grandeur, while the dramatic contrast of the surrounding clearcut highlights the threat to them posed by industrial logging. The drone footage, captured using the DJI Phantom 3 Pro, of tree climbers (thanks to Matthew, Aaron, and Elliot!) in this sobering setting will help us raise the public awareness needed to pressure the BC government to protect what remains of the adjacent Eden Grove and endangered old-growth forests across British Columbia, and to ensure a sustainable second-growth forest industry instead.

My First Cougar Sighting in the Walbran Valley

Well, the moment that I've been waiting half my life for finally happened. I saw a cougar. Not just one cougar though, TWO cougars!! After spending over a decade exploring Vancouver Island's old-growth forests (home to the highest concentration of cougars on earth) and driving thousands of kilometers of remote backroads, I was starting to wonder if it would ever happen. Did these giants cats truly even exist? They're so elusive you start to eventually wonder.

On the drive home though from the Walbran Valley Convergence, a celebration organized by the Friends of Carmanah-Walbran of the 1991 environmental protests in the valley, a large female cat bounded directly in front of my van from a small side road. The distance she coverage with casual effort was incredible. After quickly stopping in disbelief, I looked up the side road to see a second smaller cougar slowly sauntering off. After fumbling for my phone and shutting off the vehicle, I managed to capture a short clip of the animal walking away. We then reversed down the road to give them some space while I frantically asked friends in the back seat to pass me my camera bag which, of course, was buried within all of our camping gear. As I scrambled to unpack and assemble my camera and zoom lens as fast as humanly possible, the large female cougar walked back out across the road to follow the juvenile, presumably her cub. I had just enough time to snap a single photo of her through the front window as she looked directly at use before she too was gone.

Though I wish I'd managed to get a clearer shot, I'm so incredibly thankful to have had such an up close and intimate view of these almost mythical creatures. Instead of just catching a brief glimpse of a tail disappearing into the forest at night, we were treated to a nearly minutes-long experience - enough time to make eye contact with one of the most beautiful and powerful creatures to call the island home. It's a moment that I will never forget for the rest of my life!!

Press: Tall trees turning Port Renfrew into tourist hot spot

Earlier this week I toured the Port Renfrew region with CHEK News for a video about how old-growth forest tourism at the Avatar Grove, Big Lonely Doug, and other nearby ancient stands has transformed the local economy. Dan Hager, the Chamber of Commerce president, speaks up for a Tall Tree tourism economy, while Ken Wu and myself speak about the importance of saving the remaining old-growth forests. The news clip also features some of my drone footage from the Walbran Valley!

See video herehttp://www.cheknews.ca/tall-tree-turning-port-renfrew-into-tourist-hot-spot-143533/