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Snow falling on cedars


Here’s some good news for a change from northern B.C.’s pine-beetle ravaged forests: a PhD student at the University of Northern British Columbia has discovered an ancient rainforest with massive red cedars, some estimated up to 2,000 years old. This type of forest is more typically found in B.C.’s southern coastal regions, but the stand of trees east of Prince George is 1,000 km inland.

“It’s just an incredible area,” says the student, Dave Radies, who happened upon the trees while conducting research on lichens. “I’ve never seen anything quite like this, where the cedars are this big and old. It’s like a rainforest, but it’s probably more appropriate to call it a snow forest because of the amount of snow this region gets in a typical winter.”

Mr. Radies found something else, as well: marking tape, indicating that the area is designated for logging. This raises the age-old dispute pitting conservationists against the logging industry. He thinks at least part of the area should be designated off-limits to cutting, and some local residents agree. They’ve built a trail to the ancient forest, in hopes of attracting tourists to see it.

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