Friends of Caren  Oldgrowth Forest And Marbled Murrelet Home Page


Ken Lay with sample from oldest recorded tree in Canada.  Yellow Cedar: 1835 yrs. Revellers at Friends of Caren 10th Anniversary Potluck and Book Launch show off new murrelet book by Paul Jones.

Click here for Newsletter and Invitation (pdf 302k)
You are cordially invited to come to our 11th Anniversary Celebrations.
Festivities begin at 6:00pm, Friday November 15th, 2002 at Cooperís Green Hall near Halfmoon Bay. There will be a potluck supper. Please bring a guest as well as plates, mugs and cutlery. Over the sounds of the meal we will hear poems and stories from our guests. This is your party. Letís make it a memorable event. There will be a surprise guest and an unexpected host. See you there.


  • Spipiyus Provincial Park photosafari
  • Hear marbled murrelets keer-calling on the Caren Range
  • See the first ever film of a marbled murrelet parent alighting on a mossy limb of an oldgrowth cedar to feed its young high on the Caren Range in the Spípiyus Provincial Park (Courtesy of Steve Sleep, Coast Cable)

  • Membership / Please Save Canada's Oldest Forest! / Photos  / Murrelet / Oldgrowth Links  / Your Suggestions And Ideas  / News Flash / Newsletter, Fall 1997/ Park Update Dec. 1996 / Field Notes, June 1994 / Retired Timber Cruiser's Poem / Mt. Hallowell Recreation Area / Newsletter, Fall 1998
    The Oldest Tree On Record in Canada: Tree Ring Sample
    FOC is a member of the Sunshine Coast Conservation  Association
    Saint-Patrick's Day Potluck and photo gallery (Mar. 17, 2000)
    In memory of Marion Parker
    Sargent Bay Society

    MT. HALLOWELL RECREATIONAL AREA.

    The Mt. Hallowell Recreational Area is a varied forest environment highly visible
    from Malaspina and Georgia Straits, Jervis and Sechelt Inlets. Here there are
    woodland recreational corridors to Skookumchuck Rapids, Klein Lake and
    Doriston.

    MT. HALLOWELL FIRE WATCH TOWER

    Mt. Hallowell Fire Watch Tower is located on the top of the northern peak of the
    Caren Range. The Sunshine Coast Heritage Society with Friends of Caren, B.C.
    Forest Service, Pender Harbour Wildlife and Volunteers are rehabilitating the
    Forest Watchtower and Supply Trail.

    FOREST COVER AND ACCESS

    1. The Mine Road from Pender Harbour switchbacks through 2nd growth forest to
    the Copper Mine Campsite and a Douglas Fir plantation of 1972 (950 M.+
    elevation). Further the Northern Ancient Forest of The Caren Range with
    occasional ponds and meadows leads to the mountain slopes. A supply trail climbs
    steeply to the Tower. This southern face of the mountain has a small climate zone
    that permits redcedar to mix with yellow-cypress and some old Douglas Firs up to
    1200 Meters (4000 ft)in elevation. Subalpine Hemlock Forests are deep around the
    peak on ledges and in troughs. The edges and exposed tops are mainly clad by
    shore pine with white pine, cypress and mountain hemlock all stunted by rock and
    climate. The Mine Road from Malaspina Substation is subject to washouts,
    generally 4 wheel drive, a steep walk that will take 5 - 8 hours return.

    2. Up from Klein Lake on the northern ridge mixed scrub shields a stand of old
    growth douglas fir. Troughs of brush hemlock and hog's back of open mixed
    forest, regrowth from a historic fire lead to a pine clad bump at 1000 M. (3300 ft).
    Mossy openings invite rest in the views before diving into the deep mixed
    subalpine forest of the final slopes. Klein Lake to Hallowell Peak 5 - 7 hours
    return.

    3. From Highway 101 up Halfmoon Bay Forestry Road up to the power-line at 13
    Km. turn left at 13.5 Km, (1000 M. elevation). Enter the old growth forest at Km.
    15.5. Exit the old growth at Km. 18 into the broad views of a 600 Hectare
    clearcut. Crest a hill at Km. 19, ahead lies the Mountain and Tower. On into the
    Douglas Fir Plantation, pass the top of the Mine Road, to Km. 20, the North
    Forest and Hallowell Trailhead. Hallowell supply trail 2 - 3 hours return.

    VIEWS FROM THE MOUNTAIN

    Bird's eye views: Pender Harbour, Sakinaw Lake and Ruby Lake. South to west:
    Across the Straits, Vancouver Island from Nanaimo to Campbell River and more
    than 1\2 the Vancouver Island skyline is visible, with the alligator, Texada
    Island lying in the middle.  West to north: Nelson and Hardy Islands, the
    entrance to Jervis Inlet, Hotham Sound and Powell River Back-country. North to
    east: The reaches and mountains of Jervis and Narrows Inlets and the Peaks of
    the Tantalus Range near Squamish. East to south: The Tetrahedron, Mt. Baker
    and South Georgia Strait to the San Juan Islands.

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    Friends of Caren NEWSLETTER, September, 1996
    Friends of Caren, Box 223, Madeira Park, B.C. VON 2HO


    Canada's oldest forest in a Shore-to-Summit Park

    For Your Immediate Attention

    As many of you know, Friends of Caren was strongly supported in 1995 by the Vancouver Natural History Society and the Western Canada Wilderness Committee in their bid to have a park created on the Caren Range on the Sunshine Coast. The Regional Public Advisory Committee, established by the Ministry of the Environment, Lands and Parks, comprising representatives from the forest industry, conservation groups and the general public, was about to make its recommendation to cabinet a few weeks prior to the election.

    The Caren was one of the candidate areas to be set aside when the cabinet decided to postpone the decision until after the election. This is when VNHS and WCWC backed Friends of Caren in our efforts to get a new provincial park. VNHS's Conservation and Education Committee passed a unanimous resolution to protect an 8,500 hectare area, taking in a 25 km stretch of Sechelt Inlet, as a new provincial park. Several weeks later the Western Canada Wilderness Committee released a flyer calling for a park across the Caren, extending from Sechelt Inlet to Pender Harbour.

    Both proposals came after Friends of Caren observers drew attention to the fact that only 1.6 percent of the Sunshine Coast Forest District had any form of protection. 


    Provincial Government seeks public input on Caren announcement.

    On August 27th 1996 the Provincial Government made its announcement of the areas that were put forward by the Regional Public Advisory Committee for protection last fall before the election. RPAC proposed an area of 2800 hectares on top of the Caren which does take in the ancient forest but does not give us enough latitude to include meaningful recreation with habitat protection.

    The people in RPAC were unaware of the special links that exist between the marine environment of Sechelt Inlet, Salmon and Narrows Inlets, as well as the Pender Harbour area, and the terrestrial and lake environments of the Caren Range from the inlets up to the summits as described above.

    The Premier and the Minister of the Environment need your inputs in the next few weeks before Cabinet decides on the areas and their final boundaries. Please write to them seeking a shore to summit park with a minimum 6000 hectares. 


    Meet the new Minister of the Environment, Lands and Parks.

    The Hounourable Cathy McGregor replaced the Honourable Paul Ramsey who replaced Moe Sihota as the new Minister of the Environment. It is important that you write to the new Minister, to express your satisfaction on his appointment and to tell him that you want a new provincial park around the ancient forests that will allow for both recreational activities and at the same time give all the benefits to wildlife on the Caren to come and go and breed without disturbance.

    We need a summit to shoreline park which favours the many creatures that rely on both the forest and their marine habitat. Chief among these creatures are the Marbled Murrelets, Mew Gulls, Ospreys, Bald Eagles, Barrow's Goldeneyes and the River Otters, all familiar creatures of the Caren Range proposed park area. Mention that the Vancouver Natural History Society, the Western Canada Wilderness Committee and the Federation of BC Naturalists all support our efforts.

    We need a park area with a minimum of 6000 hectares. A park area of 8,500 hectares was proposed by VNHS and WCWC which allows for a second West Coast trail from Sechelt to Egmont. FOC supported those proposals. 


    Marbled Murrelet Given Threatened Status:

    Marine Alcid "Red-Listed" in British Columbia

    In a recent letter to Friends of Caren the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks said, " You may be interested to hear that the Marbled Murrelet has been recently up-listed to "Red" on the provincial Wildlife Branch's list of species at risk. Timber harvesting of nesting habitat in old-growth forest is identified as a major threat to the survival of this species in British Columbia... B.C.Environment...is currently conducting inventories to locate murrelet nesting habitats in the Sunshine Coast area."

    This letter came to us in response to our concern that forests of the Gordondale area above Sechelt Inlet was probably good Marbled Murrelet habitat. Friends of Caren researchers in 1993 found Canada's first active Marbled Murrelet nest on the Caren. The same nest was used two years in a row to rear chicks to fledging but has not been used since.

    FOC research is ongoing and further useful information was collected in 1995 and 1996 relating to year-round use of the Caren by Marbled Murrelets. Birds were observed on the Caren in November '95 and in April '96. 


    The Caren Range is on the INTERNET.

    Staying abreast of the times, Friends of Caren has put the Caren and its Marbled Murrelets on the Internet. Anything you want to learn about the Caren and our campaign to protect the essential ancient forest habitat for wildlife and also to provide enough space for quality recreation is now on the Internet.

    The E mail address is: friends_of_caren@sunshine.net

    Our Web page address is: http://www.sunshine.net/www/700/sn0774/

    We would welcome your comments and ideas for improvements and features.

    Tours
    Friends of Caren has conducted its usual free summer tours on the Caren during the summer months. Our big fall tour will take place on September 21st, commencing at 11am at the Sunshine Coast Rehabilitation Centre in Halfmoon Bay. Folks from Vancouver can catch the 9:30 ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale and make it to the Rehab. Centre in time to join the tour. Bring lunch and a 4x4 if you can. See you there! 


    Sample Letter
    Please print this letter, sign it and post or copy to clipboard and email it to the The Honourable Joan Sawicki Minister of Environment, Lands & Parks today.

    The Honourable Joan Sawicki
    Minister of Environment, Lands and Parks
    Parliament Buildings Victoria, B.C. V8V 1X4

    Dear Ms. Sawicki:

    Please give room for both recreational activities and habitat preservation on the Caren. The proposal of 2800 hectares for a park on the Caren would concentrate recreational activity within critical Marbled Murrelet (and other species) habitat which come from surrounding marine areas. Accordingly I am asking that you kindly make sure that park boundaries extend down to Sechelt Inlet and that the new park has a minimum of 6000 hectares to allow for habitat preservation alongside recreation.

    Yours very truly

    (Insert your name, email address, etc.)

    News Flash

    The Marbled Murrelet has just been uplisted to "Red" on the Provincial Wildlife Branch List of Species At Risk. Timber harvesting of nesting habitat in oldgrowth forest is identified as a major threat to the survival of the species in British Columbia. (Bruce Cox, Reginal Fish & Wildlife Manager, B.C. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks.)

    Habitat Protection

    Biological diversity and habitat protection are key issues relating to the preservation of the oldgrowth forests of the Caren Range.The forest has become a refuge for many bird species to breed. The Marbled Murrelet and cavity nesters such as the Barrows Goldeneye, Vaux Swift and the Red Breasted Nuthatch are among some of the birds which are dependent on this forest. A large herd of Roosevelt Elk roams the Caren Range, having been reintroduced to the area in recent years.

    Many animals are dependent on the summit-to-shoreline ecosystem . These include the River Otter, Black Bear, Coast Deer, Mew Gull, Barrows Golden Eye and others. There are more than seven salmon-spauning streams, two of which were damaged by previous logging. Orcas, Harbour Seals and rich biota exist along the shores .

    The Caren Range should be set aside as a part of the trans-national network of ecological reserves across Canada within the proposed Green Plan.

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    Marbled Murrelets

    Assisted by funds from the B.C. Ministry of Forests, the B.C. Conservation Society, the Canadian Wildlife Service and the World Wildlife Fund, Friends of Caren naturalists have proven that a large colony of the threatened marine alcid, the Marbled Murrelet, is present in the forest of the Caren Range.

    In July 1993 Friends of Caren researchers discovered, documented and filmed an active marbled murrelet nest in the Caren Range Oldgrowth Forest. Owing to the bird's very shy and illusive nature, this was the first recorded sighting of marbled murrelets nesting in Canada's history.

    Murrelets breed on both sides of the Caren Range, flying from the coastal waters to nesting sites in the forest some 4000 feet above.

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    Friends of Caren

    Friends of Caren began in June, 1991 in Pender Harbour on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast. It was formed by a group of people from a logging and fishing community who had the common objective of preserving a three square mile oldgrowth forest as the centrepiece of a new Provincial Park on the Sechelt Peninsula.

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    Help Save Canada's Oldest Forest And Create A New Park

    Please fill out the letter in the Dear Premier Gordon Campbell section and send it to the Premier as soon as possible.

    The proposed new Provincial Park will extend from the shores of Sechelt Inlet in the East over the Caren Range north of the Cheekeye Dunsmuir Power line to Pender Harbour in the West. Its northern boundary will take in Mount Hallowell and extend from Ruby Lake to Doriston. The sub-alpine oldgrowth forest of the Caren Range is bordered on the west by by a relatively young forest which has grown up on steep rocky terrain following fires in the early 1900's. Steep logged terrain where soils have been badly depleted and where forest productivity is relatively low form the eastern boundary of the park. Panoramic views from the Caren Range are magnificient and road access is easy.

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    Logging Threat

    Only three square miles of oldgrowth forest remain on the Sechelt Peninsula following more than a hundred years of logging and burning. The B.C. Ministry of Forests issued cutting permits on a part of this remaining forest without adequate knowledge of the hydrological role or the biology of the forest. Since then a major colony of murrelets has also been discovered in the Caren Range. We are now realizing that this is probably Canada's oldest forest.

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    Ancient Forest

    The Caren Range oldgrowth forest is unique in that much of it has survived forest fires and blow down for more than two thousand years. A seven foot diameter tree stump, logged in 1986, was found to be from the oldest recorded tree in Canada at 1717 years. This massive tree was felled as part of a six square mile clearcut. In the summer of 1992, a standing tree measuring eleven feet in diameter was found near a grove of other giant yellow cedars on the slopes above Sechelt Inlet. In Students on an outing in the Caren Range Old Growth Forest.1993, the Friends of Caren discovered an even older tree. Dendrochronological analysis revealed that it was 1, 835 years old when cut (without anyone knowing its antiquity) during the normal course of clearcut liquidation of the oldgrowth forest in the late 1980s. A Caren western hemlock stump, with 1238 annual growth rings, proved to be the world record in age for this species. Only forty miles from Vancouver, these trees are the oldest trees on record in Canada .

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    Field Trips

    Summer and autumn field trips have been a continuing feature of Friends of Caren since its formation. These trips are led by volunteer biologists, foresters and naturalists and cater to all age groups and various levels of fitness. A charter bus service was employed in 1992 and the numbers visiting the Caren Range on the regular Saturday tours tripled over 1991. During 1992 special tours were arranged for the B.C. Federation of Naturalists and for people attending the Festival of the Written Arts in Sechelt. Tours continue in 1996.

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    Evening Programs

    Regular meetings are held by Friends of Caren, usually once a month. The meetings often feature guest speakers and provide a forum for sharing information on natural history findings and other matters relating to the Caren Range.

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    The Oldest Tree On Record in Canada

    In 1993, the Friends of Caren discovered the remains of the oldest tree on record in Canada. This is the sample being shown by Key Lay on our title page above. Dendrochronological analysis revealed that it was 1, 835 years old when cut (without anyone knowing its antiquity) during the normal course of clearcut liquidation of the oldgrowth forest in the late 1980s. Only 3 square miles of the original forest remain today. Logging companies have drawn up plans that will destroy more of this national treasure. Please act now to save it.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Membership

    Please fill out this section and email Friends of Caren . (Suggestion: Copy the letter to clipboard then paste it in the message area after having clicked on the mailto link in the previous sentence.) You may also use the following post box address: Friends of Caren, Box 223, Madeira Park, B.C. V0N 2H0.

    Dear Friends of Caren,

    I want to help preserve Canada's oldest forest. I support your effort
    to protect murrelet habitat and establish a shore-to-summit wilderness park
    in the Caren Range on the Sechelt Peninsula. I understand that
    membership in the Friends of Caren is by donation and I am enclosing $___.

    Yours truly, Name: __________________________________

    Address: __________________________________________

    Phone, fax, email: ___________ ___________ ____________

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    Murrelet Links

    Hinterland Who's Who - Marbled Murrelet
    L'Alque marbré (French Language)
    Marbled Murrelet at Epic Home Page
    The Marbled Murrelet: How did these little-known seabirds become a symbol for saving old-growth forests?
    Redwood National and State Parks Marbled Murrelets page
    The Marbled Murrelet: An Uncertain Future

    Oldgrowth Links

     Acting for a Better World    Ancient Bristlecone Pine     Biodiversity and its Value    Canadian Forests  EcoforestryElphinstone Living Forest  Protect Canada's Biodiversity    Protect Ursus Valley     Randy Stoltmann Wilderness Area   Walbran Valley Home Page    Western Canada Wilderness Committee    Woodlot
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    Dear Premier Gordon Campbell
    Please print this letter, sign it and post or copy to clipboard and email it to the B.C. Premier today:

    Premier Gordon Campbell                                                                              Date: _____________________
    Provincial Legislature Victoria, B.C. V8V 1X4

    Dear Premier Campbell,

    I support the Friends of Caren in asking that the B.C. Government establish a shore-to-summit park in the Caren Range. Only three square miles of high elevation oldgrowth forest remains on the Sechelt Peninsula and there is currently less than 1% wilderness protection on the Sunshine Coast. The Caren Range oldgrowth forest is more than two thousand years old. In 1993, the Friends of Caren discovered the oldest tree on record in Canada. Dendrochronological analysis revealed that it was 1, 835 years old when cut (without anyone knowing its antiquity) during the normal course of clearcut liquidation of the oldgrowth forest in the late 1980s. A Caren western hemlock stump, with 1238 annual growth rings, proved to be the world record in age for this species. Only forty miles from Vancouver, these trees are the oldest trees on record in Canada. A large colony of the threatened marine alcid, the Marbled Murrelet, is nesting in the old growth forests of the Caren Range and dependent on the coastal waters surrounding it.

    Yours sincerely, (Print Name and Address)

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    PUT AWAY CHILDISH THINGS
    I used to throw my
    double bitted axe
    in contests,
    at timber days affairs
    I used to timber cruise
    the Nimpkish and the Lillooett
    and tell the timber bosses
    where the big fir and the
    hemlock were
    Now I've put away
    my axe, my cruiser's vest
    to take the children and
    their folk to see
    the secret ancient trees
    where rare birds breed.
    Paul H. Jones

    Your Suggestions And Ideas

    Please share any ideas you have to improve our web page. Do you know any interesting related sites we should link to? Can you encourage others to install links to our site from their web contacts?

    Please click here to let Friends of Caren  know what you think about our site and to give us suggestions for improvement.
    We wish to thank the folks at Sunshine Net for their assistance in setting up our page. Click here for more information about the Sunshine Coast.
    You are visitor number since August 25, 1996
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