Walbran Valley

The Walbran Valley harbours some of the finest ancient forests remaining on southern Vancouver Island. This amazing big-tree forest has been the subject of Wilderness Committee preservation campaigns since the 1980s.
In 1988, we launched a nation-wide campaign to preserve the Carmanah Valley, which is adjacent to the West Coast Trail and the Walbran Valley. Our volunteers built hiking trails into the heart of the Carmanah Valley and its now world-famous Sitka spruce groves.
Then in 1990, the BC government agreed to include the lower half of Carmanah Valley in the Carmanah Pacific Provincial Park. In response, we opened a rainforest research station in the upper Carmanah Valley and continued to call for protection of entire Carmanah Valley. A group of concerned citizens began to build hiking trails in the Walbran Valley.
In 1991, many concerned citizens blockaded logging roads near Fletcher Falls in the central Walbran Valley and called for preservation of the entire Walbran Valley. In 1992, BC's provincial government deferred logging for 18 months in lower Walbran Valley and all of the adjacent Logan and Cullite valleys. The Commission on Resources and Environment (CORE) was created to study and recommend land-use changes on Vancouver Island. 
The upper Carmanah Valley, lower Walbran Valley, Cullite and Logan valleys were added to Carmanah Pacific Provincial Park in 1994. However, the upper Walbran Valley and the Fletcher Falls area of the central Walbran Valley were given over to logging companies.
The Wilderness Committee continued the campaign to preserve the entire Walbran Valley, and in 1998 we set up a rainforest research station in the central Walbran Valley near Fletcher Falls. Since that time, concerned citizens have continued to expand the trail system in the central Walbran Valley through a popular grove of very large very old redcedar trees, known as the Castle Grove.
In 2014, flagging tape was discovered in the old-growth forest of the central Walbran Valley that concerned citizens feared were marking out proposed cutblocks - but the logging company, Teal Jones, denied having any logging plans in the area.
Then in 2015, Wilderness Committee Vancouver Island Campaigner Torrance Coste obtained maps from the company showing that they were indeed planning to log eight cutblocks of ancient forest surrounding the iconic Castle Grove.
Now the fight is on to save the Walbran Valley's remaining ancient forests.  
Google Map of Recreation Areas & Proposed Logging Cutblocks in the central Walbran Valley
Logging company Teal Jones' approved cutblock #4424 is shown in purple-red and seven other proposed cutblocks (with cutblock ID numbers labelled) are shown as red polygons. The proposed logging road extension is shown in a thicker red line. Trails in the area are shown as thin purple lines, boardwalks shown as thick purple lines, flagged access route to cutblock #4424 shown as a purple-red line, and proposed Castle Grove loop trail shown as a yellow line. Important points of interest are displayed as various icons and can be clicked for more information, including big 'Elder' trees (tree icons). The thick dark green line shows the newly updated boundary of Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park (updated March 31, 2015). The lightly shaded light green area is the Central Walbran Ancient Forest that is being proposed for protection by the Wilderness Committee. The legend can be shown by clicking on the icon at the top left inside the map.  For a comprehensive full map with legend, please click on "larger frame" icon at the top right corner of the map.

Recent Developments

8 weeks 1 day ago
It was a local hiker who noticed, during a backwoods stroll in May 2012, the remains of the body. The victim in question: an 800-year-old cedar tree.
9 weeks 3 days ago
  Location: The Walbran Valley is located about two-and-a-half hours west of Victoria in unceded Pacheedaht Territory.   It is one of the
10 weeks 45 min ago
  Location: The Walbran Valley is located about two-and-a-half hours west of Victoria in unceded Pacheedaht Territory.   It is one of the

Take Action

We’re sending off 2016 with a kick on #WalbranWednesday

Call your MLA

After several setbacks this year from the Kinder Morgan pipeline decision, to the ongoing destruction in the Peace River Valley for the Site C dam, it’s easy to feel like your voice doesn’t matter.

It does.

More than ever you are part of the thin green line that must never ever give up.

On Dec 7, it’s the ancient forests of the Walbran Valley calling for our help. To date, no logging has been done on the intact north bank of the Walbran River, and the valley has become a major catalyst in recharging the conversation against ending old-growth logging on Vancouver Island.

That’s why our final #WW of the year, we’re going big!

The continued foot-dragging from our provincial lawmakers is unacceptable, so this #WalbranWednesday we’re targeting every MLA in BC!

Make the call >>

Protect old-growth forests on Vancouver Island

During this year's Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention (September 26-30), delegates – mayors and councillors from across the province – were set to vote on a motion to oppose old-growth logging.

The motion was brought forward by Metchosin council, and has already been passed at the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) earlier this year.

But in the lead-up to the convention, the UBCM resolutions committee decided that old-growth logging is a regional issue and should be dealt with as such by regional bodies like the AVICC.

The endangered old-growth on Vancouver Island and the South Coast, is an issue that impacts all of BC, and councillors from Metchosin and other municipalities know it. At the UBCM convention they will fight to have the motion discussed and voted on at the convention, and they need your support!

This is a huge opportunity for municipal leaders to formally stand together and state the simple fact that old-growth logging has no place in healthy communities.

This is the official motion that they’ll be championing:

C27   Protection of Old-growth Forests
Whereas old-growth forest is increasingly rare on Vancouver Island, and is gone for centuries once logged;

And whereas old-growth forest has significant economic, social and environmental value as wildlife habitat, tourism resource, carbon sink and much more;

And whereas current plans on provincial Crown land call for logging the remaining old-growth forest, outside of protected areas, Old-Growth Management Areas, and similar reserves, over the next 10-20 years:

Therefore be it resolved that the old-growth forest on provincial Crown Land on Vancouver Island be protected from logging;

And be it further resolved that AVICC send a letter to the provincial government—Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations—as well as relevant government organizations requesting that the Vancouver Island Land Use Plan be amended to protect all of Vancouver Island's remaining old growth forest on provincial Crown land.

Our municipal leaders need our encouragement to:

a) support the adoption of the motion above as an official resolution, and

b) endorse this motion when it goes to a vote. 

    Send your mayor and councillors a message today and encourage them to do the right thing for BC!

    Points to consider in your message:

    • Old-growth forests provide cultural resources utilized by First Nations since time immemorial that are not found in second-growth forests.
    • Old-growth forests provide habitat for several endangered and at-risk species, some of which only live in ancient rainforest.
    • Old-growth forests store more carbon than younger forests – it an era when climate change is the single biggest crisis facing humanity, we have a moral responsibility to protect old-growth.
    • Around 90 per cent of Vancouver Island’s old-growth forest has already been logged, and an immediate halt to old-growth logging is required to ensure the survival of these ecosystems.
    • Vancouver Island municipalities and the BC Chamber of Commerce have already passed motions opposing continued old-growth logging – businesses and communities know that sustainable second-growth forestry is the only future for this industry!
    • Old-growth rainforests are integral to BC’s “super, natural” reputation, and the protection of ancient rainforests will benefit all municipalities in BC.

    Send your email today

    Photo: Unprotected Castle Giant (Shane Johnson)

    Save the Walbran Valley: Ancient forests forever!

    Write a letter now!

    Globally important old-growth rainforest in the Walbran Valley is at risk, and we need urgent action to protect it!

    Last fall, after finding new surveying tape in the unprotected central Walbran Valley, we contacted logging company Teal Jones to ask what its plans were. We stressed the ecological importance and scarcity of old-growth forests, and we asked that the company select another location in its large forest tenure.

    Then, Teal Jones sent us a map that showed eight new cutblocks on the north side of the Walbran Riverthe most extensive valley-bottom old-growth stand in the entire Walbran Valley. The company has completely disregarded our request and is now targeting one of the last contiguous intact old-growth forests on southern Vancouver Island.

    Cutting down 1,000-year-old trees and destroying the intact ecosystems that support them is an archaic practice that must end. Our provincial government has a duty to step up and protect what little remains, in a way that works for ecosystems and ensures First Nations’ access to traditional resources.

    Teal Jones is choosing to re-ignite the War in the Woods, but the provincial government has the power to stop this. And it’s up to us to pressure them to do so.

    Please write your letter now and demand that Premier Christy Clark deny permits for old-growth logging in the Walbran Valley.

    Click here to write your letter now >>

    Grassroots campaigning and public pressure have a history of success when it comes to protecting old-growth forests. The Carmanah Valley and a portion of the Walbran were protected in 1993, after a fierce Wilderness Committee campaign and support from concerned citizens like you.

    We can do this again, and protect what’s left of the Walbran Valley’s ancient forest. 


    Photo: Teal Jones clearcut in the Walbran Valley (WC Files)

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