As we moved east along the southern side of the ponds, we left the large 20-odd year old regrowth of the 1990's clearcut and moved into the mature second growth forest. Wildlife biologist, Dave Stiles believed some of the trees in this area could be from 200 to 600 years old. He felt this forest had re-established itself and we definitely found it easier to hike in this area without the debris left behind from recent clear-cutting. After resting for a while, we decided to head up the valley side and look for Tsain Ko's road location tapes in this older section of the forest. It didn't take too long to find them.As you can see, the ferns are well established on this very old logging road bed. We had actually entered IR 27 by this point and as we travelled back towards our starting point we passed through more old growth.Once we were back under a full forest canopy, it wasn't long before we came to some very large and obviously old cedars.
Dave says there are many more of this large cedars around the far side of the ponds. It would be very interesting to check the trees in the proposed cutblock EG273 which butts against the old growth management area along the park's southern edge. I noticed many of large cedars were quite close if not almost on the proposed road location and therefore will be removed if the road goes ahead. After alsmost three hours, we soon found ourselves back where we started.
After this hike, I have a greater appreciation of some of our long term residents grave concern over the proposed road activation and building in this part of the watershed. Above all, the fact that it is being proposed that this should be a permanent road through the watershed boggles the mind. As mentioned earlier, once the road skirts North Lake it enters and travels through the very heart of the Waugh Lake Watershed. I would like to repost the last two points of pathologist Dr. Lee Hutton's comment to this blog.
"2) logging roads increase human access which is a well known risk to watersheds used for human consumption. This is why Seattle, Vancouver, and Portland legally prohibit public trespass into their watersheds.
3) logging causes compaction of the soils and so that the forest floor no longer absorbs and filters water as it does in an undisturbed area. Roads where compaction is worst, are used for travel by animals and people which often leave their wastes which now wash off the road unfiltered, into a culvert and directly into drinking water sources. "