Conservation groups are demanding forestry company Island Timberlands abandon plans to log old-growth forest on the perimeter of a Vancouver Island provincial park.
The company is building a logging road to a site that sits 300 metres from the border of MacMillan Provincial Park, best noted for a protected stand of old-growth trees within the park known as Cathedral Grove.
Ken Wu of the Ancient Forest Alliance, an environmental activism group, is asking the provincial government to step in and negotiate a deal with Island Timberlands that would prevent any old-growth logging near the site.
Wu says the road and subsequent logging operation will cause severe erosion, putting increasing pressure on the rare old-growth ecosystem preserved within the park's boundaries.
"The fear is that there will be irreversible damage to the most loved and famous and popular old-growth forest in the country," he told CBC News.
The B.C. Ministry of Forests says the land is privately owned by Island Timberlands, and the company is entitled to log in the area.
The ministry added that the company has a wildlife management plan in place and meets all legislated requirements for forestry operations in B.C.
But Wu insists the plans will be too damaging, and is planning a broader international campaign to bring attention to the logging site outside MacMillan Provincial Park.
"We are not going to forever stand with picket signs in Cathedral Grove. We intend to educate consumers in the U.S. and beyond who buy from Island Timberlands about the dangers posed to these endangered ecosystems."