Sunday, November 27, 2011


For more information or to express interest to participate, please contact or

To see the biggest trees around UBC campus use Ira Sutherland's online

big tree hiking guide

Welcome to the UBC Ancient Forest Committee Website!
We are a grass-roots collection of educated students, UBC alumni, and community members with an interest in preserving British Columbia's old-growth forests. In the past, our primary activity has been focussed on education but we also lobby government. We are affiliated and work together with other local conservation organizations such as the Ancient Forest Alliance and the Western Canada Wilderness Committee.

Meet the UBC Ancient Forest Committee 

Members of the UBC Ancient Forest Committee along side other ancient forest activists.
Meares Island, Clayoquot Sound June 2011

For details on future hikes and to get involved with the UBC AFC Please write to 
Volunteers and member base needed - no experience necessary, get involved!
Introduction and Background: The mandate of the UBC Ancient forest Committee (AFC) is to raise awareness of the depletion of British Columbia's Ancient Forests and to encourage more sustainable forest management in BC. Essential to sustainable forest management is the preservation of sufficient tracts of old-growth on the landscape. Old-growth forests have not only intrinsic value, but also serve humans, from the local to the global scale, with a suite of ecosystem services distinct from most second growth forests. Ignoring the value of these services, which include carbon storage, cultural values, habitat for biodiversity, and resilience among others, as they become increasingly rare is unacceptable and strays BC forest management away from the principles of sustainability.

With the intention of increasing Vancouverite’s awareness and knowledge of the ancient forests of BC, in the past the AFC offers free guided old-growth hikes to explore the impressive scattered remains of the 'The Great Vancouver Forest.' We emphasize outreach in our local community and electoral ridings surrounding UBC since old-growth forest has become exceptionally rare at low elevation near the city of Vancouver. We encourage grass-roots community organizations to develop elsewhere in areas where old-growth forest are depleted. Fortunately, UBC's home at Point Grey is home to a little known but truly valuable old-growth forest that contributes significantly to the regions ecology and community. (see map below!)

The UBC AFC is not opposed to forestry. Many of our members study forestry and we see many benefits and advantages related to forestry. Additionally, it is acknowledged that forestry is an important part of our province's heritage, culture and economy. However, it is not, and has never been sustainable.

Print this map off and make you own tour of UBC's outstanding old-growth forests!! Or at the very least, keep your eyes pealed for big trees next time you walk the Wreck Beach Stairs or visit the Botanical Garden.

The Status of BC's Ancient Forests:
After only about 150 years of forest harvesting, old-growth is becoming extremely rare in parts of BC. For example, less than 10% of the valley bottom old-growth remain on Southern Vancouver Island. Of this, only 1% of the south island's original coast Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic zone forests are still standing. Legislation is urgently needed in areas like the Lower Mainland and south island to protect the remaining stands. Logging can only continue for a little while longer until the resource is entirely depleted. As they become increasingly scarce, each marginal reduction results in increasing losses of ecosystem services.

Additionally, due to the ecological variability and biological diversity (both species and genetic) inherent in old-growth forests old-growth forests enhance the resilience of BC's forested landscapes in the face of a warming climate and changing disturbance patterns. As an uncertain future looms for the health of our province's ecosystems and coastal old-growth forests become increasingly rare and depleted there is a greater need then ever before to conserve coastal old-growth.

Believed to be the largest maple tree in Canada, this giant big leaf maple is the most impressive of several
enormous maples found in Stanley park 

The Largest Douglas-fir in Stanley park. This Towering 60 meter giant is situated along one of the parks many forested trails. 


  1. Thanks for your blog! I will search out the "old growth" on your map. Just wondering..old growth on coastal BC would be 250 + years old and older. Are these trees up the that standard?

    Are there any old growth native intact ecosystems here in South BC? Something like the muir woods near San fran, just a little forest that can show folks what we are losing? Sorry for the questions, I'm not from Canada so I have a hard time understanding the lack of protection of native ecosystems here.

    P.s. What is the most proactive group to join here in BC? How/ who is making the biggest impact?


    1. HI Aj, Sorry for the 3.5 year delay in my reply (!). I was off on a bicycle trip, then to Quebec for the past 3 years.

      Yes, we have lots of old-growth left in BC - actually a lot more than in Oregon and California - but a lot of it is still not protected and it continues to be logged off.

      Around Vancouver, you can check out the Vancouver's Big Tree's Hiking guide.

      I would suggest checking out the Ancient Forest Alliance, which is working very hard and applying a solid amount of pressure to have more old-growth (particularly on Vancouver Island) protected.