A few weeks ago, Will and I headed off to the Walbran to do a little bit of exploring, and ended up cutting a pretty sweet trail to a recently discovered grove of massive cedars.
The trail isn’t quite finished so I won’t give away too much, but I will say this; the trail goes by over a dozen cedars over 12m in circumference, a couple giant doug fir trees (super rare in the Walbran), and a mega tree over 17m in circumference. Sadly, almost all these trees are well within the proposed cutblocks on the hillside and could be cut down at any point…. Stay tuned for more info & trail maps,.
We headed to the valley late in the afternoon and by the time we got to the FSR, it was pretty dark outside. As we drove up a hill about 40mins behind Cowichan Lake, the sky lit up with a dim orange glow and a pretty dramatic scene unveiled itself. Across the valley, the whole hillside was on fire. You hear the crackle of these gigantic fires, see the huge flames shoot up in slow swirls, and hear the sound of a city block worth of wood being burnt to the ground. Since the weather had cooled off, logging companies were starting to burn slash piles. It’s a forest fire prevention strategy done after a harvesting operation to try to curtail the debris left behind drying out and catching fire in the summer. Doing controlled burns in the wet fall/winter seasons removes the fuel sources and helps return some nutrients to the soil. I gotta say though, seeing this massive fire without any supervision was a little disconcerting. Two years ago, some of these burns got out of control and resulted in multiple hectares of forest being burnt down.