In 2012, I took a fateful trip to Cortes Island — a northern gulf island three ferry rides away from Vancouver — to document the Cortes community’s fight to fend off an impending logging operation by coastal timber giant Island Timberlands.
Community members took us deep into the woods privately owned by Island Timberlands and showed us the hidden pockets of old-growth that the company was targeting. I was struck by how passionate and knowledgeable these Cortes residents were about the land, sharing a trove of fascinating information about the fungal networks underlying our footsteps and their relationships with the giant trees that were scattered throughout this complex and ancient ecosystem.
They explained why cutting down this forest and replacing it with young trees was not adequate to protect the values they held dear. A young forest simply could not filter the drinking water, or sustain the wildlife, or generate the tourism interest that they required to continue living on this tiny island. And furthermore, they felt there was something sacred here that simply should not be tampered with. Read more >>