We followed an old-growth detective into the forest to fact-check B.C.’s suspicious claims about the age of trees | The Narwhal

Petryshen, who works for the conservation group Wildsight, is on a detective mission of sorts. He’s about to bushwhack into the Nagle Creek Valley, 150 kilometres north of Revelstoke, B.C., to ground-truth provincial government logging maps he obtained in May. The maps outline the government’s plans for new clearcuts in the disappearing inland temperate rainforest, in core habitat for an endangered caribou herd.

According to BC Timber Sales, the provincial government agency responsible for planning and auctioning off the cutblocks, the cedar and hemlock trees slated for logging are between 224 and 336 years old. Petryshen, who’s been scrolling through forest inventory data and cross-matching maps, isn’t so sure. “We question whether this is a reliable estimate,” he says. Forests above 400 years old are classified as ancient, meaning this forest would automatically meet provincial government criteria for old-growth logging deferrals.

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