Phoenix of the Forest

If you ever get the chance to aimlessly wander around BC, you will notice that almost every roadside turnout you find is beautiful, as if it were completely secluded from civilization, or the highway you just pulled off of 30 seconds ago.

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A roadside view

And you will also come to find that every other turnout seems to be a never ending gravel road, often twisting and turning up mountain sides for hours. On either sides are logged forests. Some just newly cut, and others years into reclamation. Always breathtaking, be it for better or worse.

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And sometimes, if you are lucky to take the right wrong turns, and determined enough to keep persistent down these wild paths, you will finally end up at a spot to sit stay a while.

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Patience with a View

Sometimes reclamation of logged forests don’t always come to completion. Things are half done, or equipment is left behind. Much of the time, these areas were explored for resources during times when environmental requirements were not as strict, and therefore were not taken care of in a way to bring the land back to its full potential.

 

With these forests opened up by logging roads and camp-spots for those workers, when all was said and done, it made perfect sense to continue use of these areas by way of recreation. And thus campsites are born! This is why if you adventure far enough away from your camper or tent, you might stumble across tools such as wire fences, old bottles and cans, or just plain strange things.

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Definitely man-made!

The campground that I like to spend my free time at once was and is still cyclically logged and forested, leaving many paths and roads to wander down.

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Last week we decided to stock up on some firewood. With patches of logged forests surrounding us, we packed up the chainsaw and ax, and headed 5 minutes down a gravel road, scouting for the best looking pile of scrap lumber.

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This one looks just fine!

So we started up the chainsaw and worked on our muscles to get as many logs as we could.

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Takes more than one to run the show

 

Although its a good thing for us that this patch was not reclaimed properly, it is not for the forest, as it does nothing to help grow back the once lush underbrush that grew before. Landscapes like these are often plagued by invasive species and weeds that harm the environment by creating an ecosystem that is unsustainable to the wildlife nearby.

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A beautiful invasion by Common Mullen 

Normally, forests that are reclaimed properly would try to remove slash piles, like the one we scavenged wood from, soon after logging, and either remove it from the area to begin planting new growth, or use it as a layer of organic matter that helps to protect newborn seedlings.

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Nicely reclaimed alpine forest

So for now our campsite is full of wood, and ready for many more nights of fireside stories and roasted marshmallows.

Happy Trails!

Catherine Sera

 

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