Ancient Forest Named a Provincial Park
What was once a well-kept secret is about to become a must-stop attraction for western Canada. 120 kilometres east of Prince George lies a lush, green forest filled with cedar trees over a millenia old.
To date, the Caledonia Ramblers Hiking Society have meticulously cared for the space. From signage and waymarkers to a beautiful, wheelchair-accessible boardwalk, the society has taken great pride and care of the Forest.
Believed to be the world’s only remaining inland temperate rainforest, it has a geographical area of 112 square kilometres, which is marginally smaller than the city of Vancouver’s area of 115 square kilometres.
The Provincial Government has dubbed it a Class 'A' Provincial Park. The majority of the provincial parks in the system are Class A parks -- these parks are lands dedicated to the preservation of their natural environments for the inspiration, use and enjoyment of the public. Development in a Class A park is limited to that which is necessary for the maintenance of its recreational values.
“Dedicated volunteers and community
members have worked for years to protect this special habitat,” said Shirley Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemount. “Several of the trees in this historical natural wonder are more than 1,000 years old, with trunks measuring up to 16 metres around. This unique ecosystem will now be protected, and can continue to be enjoyed by visitors from throughout B.C. and around the world for years to come.”
Together with the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation, the Provincial Government set the bounds for the park. Known as Chun T'oh Wudujut to the local First Nations, the preservation of the area is significant for wildlife due to the unique ecosystem that exists.
After the Provincial Park designation, supporters intend to apply for UNESCO World Heritage site status, further protecting the forest.
“The proposed establishment of this park – home to some of the largest old-growth cedar trees in the province – reflects the uniqueness of B.C.`s world-renowned park system,” said Environment Minister Mary Polak. “This spectacular setting will now be preserved and protected for future generations to enjoy.”
“This area, known as the Ancient Forest, is home to some of the largest old-growth cedar trees in our province. Park status will give this magnificent site the protection it deserves,” said Premier Clark. “Thank you to the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, Caledonia Ramblers Hiking Society, our local MLAs and the dedicated volunteers who worked tirelessly to make this happen.”