THE IMAGES in the first section below are representative of the forest type and trees growing in the two wildlife tree retention areas west of Darkwater Lake that were established by the original 2011 woodlot plan for WL 2032.
In 2018 and 2019 the licensee built two roads through these areas. An “amendment” to the woodlot plan eliminated these two wildlife tree retention areas and replaced them with an area of forest on the southwest flank of Darkwater Mountain. Photographs of the latter are in the second section below.
The Discovery Islands Forest Conservation Project contends that the amendment decreased the nature and quality of wildlife trees and the wildlife tree retention areas and, because of those circumstances, such an amendment required approval by the Ministry of Forests, according to the Woodlot Planning and Practices Regulation. The Ministry of Forests has been unable to provide any record that shows that such approval for this amendment was sought by the licensee or granted by the ministry.
1. Individual trees and forest type in the two original wildlife tree retention areas west of Darkwater Lake
The two previously approved wildlife tree retention areas (outlined in green below) are located southwest of Darkwater Lake on the slope down to Discovery Passage:
The short video below shows an area of Douglas fir-leading old forest that includes the smaller, eastern reserve shown in the image above. This 16.5-hectare area of old forest—which can be seen to the east of the new road in the image immediately above—would make a much better biodiversity reserve than the replacement area on Darkwater Mountain chosen by the licensee. Read more about this area of rare primary forest here.
Below are photographs of trees and the forest types in the previously approved wildlife tree retention areas.
The road building resulted in the removal of old trees in the reserves.
This is the log that came off the stump above. A ring count showed it was at least 380 years old when cut.
The lower reserve had been selectively logged in the past.
2. Trees and forest in the proposed wildlife tree retention area on the southwest flank of Darkwater Mountain
The proposed wildlife tree retention area (outlined in green below) is located on the southwest flank of Darkwater Mountain:
The short video below provides an overview of the area of lodgepole-pine-leading forest which the woodlot licensee intended—through an amendment to its woodlot plan—to replace two previously approved areas of Douglas-fir-leading old forest as part of the woodlot’s biodiversity conservation strategy.
Below are photographs of trees and the forest types of the proposed replacement wildlife tree retention area.
The replacement area contains scattered old Douglas fir vets at the end nearest to Darkwater Lake.
Not far from the lake the forest becomes a mix of hemlock and lodgepole pine.
Most of the area of the proposed reserve is covered by forest with thin, dry soils and bare rock supporting a sparse growth of lodgepole pine, western hemlock and Douglas fir.
Near the top of the reserve the extreme dryness of the proposed reserve is indicated by the occurrence of Hairy Manzanita.