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NEWS RELEASE · 18th May 2012
Wilderness Committee
What remains of an 800 year-old Red Cedar lies in the parking area at Carmanah-Walbran Provincial Park. Last year, poachers were unsuccessful in an attempt to fall the tree, but had damaged it sufficiently to force BC Parks Staff to bring the ancient cedar down for safety reasons.

Since then, the cedar poachers have returned at their leisure, cut up, hauled out, and taken away much of the tree. Some of this work has been done in recent weeks and has further damaged the environment. Undergrowth in the park is torn and crushed, a ditch is caved in and blocked with debris, small concrete parking stops have been moved or broken, and steel cables are lying around. Only one section of the trunk remains in the forest, along with the stump – which is nine feet in diameter.

Torrance Coste, Vancouver Island Campaigner with the Wilderness Committee, visited the site last weekend and is currently following up with parks officials and the RCMP.

“Our parks are extremely important to our province,” says Coste. “They are and always should be regarded as some of the most spectacular natural areas in the world – not as poorly protected places where poachers can operate without consequence.”

BC Parks staff are currently seeking funds to mediate the damage. The Lake Cowichan RCMP has also been contacted, but enforcement in the Carmanah area is difficult due to its remote location.

The Wilderness Committee has always pushed for better protection in existing parks, but the province has cut funding to BC Parks on an almost annual basis over the last ten years. Currently, BC Parks has just 10 full-time park rangers for 1,000 parks and protected areas.

“There should be measures in place to stop this kind of thing,” says Coste, “We entrust BC Parks with places that are valuable to us, but our government doesn’t give them the resources to look after these areas.”

Through its BC Parks Campaign, the Wilderness Committee works to uphold the government in its responsibility to manage and protect provincial parks on behalf of the public, Coste explains.

“It’s clear that cedar is taken from Carmanah without fear,” Coste continues, “What we need to know from Environment Minister Lake is if cedar poaching is happening anywhere else.”

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re: cam
Comment by J~ on 20th May 2012
I've used remote cams before. They can come with rechargeable 6V batteries and photo's are stored on a small memory card. A forest service worker could retrieve the card and replace it with one very easily as well as switch out the battery. I have done it and captured lots of wild life photo's that way. No need for an internet connection.
Foiling poachers
Comment by c. sandecki on 20th May 2012
What about embedding microchips in the trees, like identifying your pets? Or some sort of gadget such as clothing stores use that would set off a signal when any portion of the tree was hauled past special "signal pickups" along our highways? Or power washing the trees with a sticky substance carrying identification confetti such as farmers mix into their grain bins?
spiking trees?
Comment by billbraam on 19th May 2012
Spiking trees would only hurt/maim/kill an unsuspecting sawmill worker and leave the wood thief safe. Please don't advocate these methods. Thank you
Re: Wild life cam?
Comment by Sheldon Davidson on 19th May 2012
Setting up a remote wild life cam would most likely not be feasable.

The camera would need to be powered so a solar panel would need to be installed.

An internet connection would be required to feed the video link to us. This might not have been possible.

A solution might be to spike trees like this?
Wild life cam?
Comment by J~ on 19th May 2012
Why didn't they think to see up a remote wildlife camera and catch the poachers on film?