New Archaeological Sites Created to Protect Culturally Modified Trees in the Roberts Creek Headwaters Ancient Forest

September 26, 2012
Roberts Creek, BC Canada

New Archaeological Sites Created to Protect Culturally Modified Trees in the Roberts Creek Headwaters Ancient Forest

Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) is pleased to advise the community that seven (7) new Archaeological Sites have been created to protect seventeen (17) definite Culturally Modified Trees (CMTs).  These CMTs, and now Archaeological Sites, are located within BC Timber Sales (BCTS) cutblock DK045 locally known as the Roberts Creek Headwaters Ancient Forest.

At the invitation of ELF, on July 19 and 20, 2012 two respected professional archaeologists, Jim Stafford and John Maxwell, undertook a reconnaissance of BCTS block DK045. Jim Stafford and John Maxwell have extensive experience identifying and recording CMTs in coastal BC and have documented high elevation yellow cedar stands containing dense clusters of CMTs.  In the report to Ewan Anderson of the Archaeological Branch, Jim Stafford writes, “Our survey resulted in the identification of many cedar trees which we are confident are CMTs. As few red cedars occur, almost all of the CMTs are yellow cedar.” He further notes, “We also identified other patterns on the landscape which raise our confidence in identifying the scarred trees as being CMTs” such as “probable CMTs clustered near Roberts Creek itself” and, “It was also apparent that cedar trees smaller than about 60 cm exhibited no scarring, with the exception of a few we identified as likely bark stripped CMTs.  The decline of local Indigenous populations during the 1800’s could explain the lack of more recent scars”.

DK045 Images of Culturally Modified Trees – BC Archaeologist – James Stafford

In a subsequent email, Jim Stafford asks Ewan Anderson to “please note that this is in no way a complete survey of this block and many more CMTs, and possibly other features, likely exist.”

“In our view, and that of many others who have become aware of the natural and cultural heritage these last remaining stands of ancient forests represent, it is time to take them off the BCTS sales list permanently, including nearby proposed blocks DK042, DK043 and DK044 with similar ancient forest characteristics” says Hans Penner of ELF.  “Remember that you can never replace these rare old yellow-cedar forests that contain trees that are over a thousand years old. When standing amongst them, you are truly in a cathedral – equivalent to the cathedrals of Europe, but what we have here are natural living cathedrals.” adds Ross Muirhead also of ELF.

For further information contact:
Elphinstone Logging Focus
604-740-5654 or 604-886-5730
Roberts Creek, BC


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