358-year-old Spruce Tree (Photo by Asta Glemboski)

Local trees that have been around since 1400-1600s have been getting chopped across Northern BC.

Michelle Connolly, Director of Conservation North has come across a 537-year-old Douglas Fir Tree that was found at Bowron Forest Service Road in April of last year.

For the last three years, Conservation North has been filming the Pass Lake log decks to identify what kind of trees are being cut, and how old they are.

“The trees that get piled there have been pulled from all the valleys to the North, so you don’t know exactly where they came from,” explained Connolly.

More recently, the group found a pile of 350-year-old Spruce Trees cut down at the Pass Lake log decks.

“When you think about it, these trees were young before the Europeans even got here and so they represent pre-contact,” she added.

Connolly says there is no need for these ancient trees that provide excellent sources of carbon capture and storage to be utilized in industrial forestry operations.

“Mass timber and pellets do not have to come from primary forests,” she added, “so we want to know, why we are still doing this?”

While industrial logging has been a lucrative business for decades in Northern BC, Connolly says that at this point, it is robbing the Prince George area of its natural heritage.