Big Lonely Doug

Big Lonely Doug

The Story of One of Canada's Last Great Trees

eBook - 2018
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"On a cool morning in the winter of 2011, a logger named Dennis Cronin was walking through a stand of old-growth forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island. His job was to survey the land and flag the boundaries for clear-cutting. As he made his way through the forest, Cronin came across a massive Douglas-fir the height of a twenty-storey building. It was one of the largest trees in Canada that if felled and milled could easily fetch more than fifty thousand dollars. Instead of moving on, he reached into his vest pocket for a flagging he rarely used, tore off a strip, and wrapped it around the base of the trunk. Along the length of the ribbon were the words "Leave Tree." When the fallers arrived, every wiry cedar, every droopy-topped hemlock, every great fir was cut down and hauled away--all except one. The solitary tree stood quietly in the clear cut until activist and photographer T.J. Watt stumbled upon the Douglas-fir while searching for big trees for the Ancient Forest Alliance, an environmental organization fighting to protect British Columbia's dwindling old-growth forests. The single Douglas-fir exemplified their cause: the grandeur of these trees juxtaposed with their plight. They gave it a name: Big Lonely Doug. The tree would also eventually, and controversially, be turned into the poster child of the Tall Tree Capital of Canada, attracting thousands of tourists every year and garnering the attention of artists, businesses, and organizations who saw new values encased within its bark. Originally featured as a long-form article in The Walrus that garnered a National Magazine Award (Silver), Big Lonely Doug weaves the ecology of old-growth forests, the legend of the West Coast's big trees, the turbulence of the logging industry, the fight for preservation, the contention surrounding ecotourism, First Nations land and cultural rights, and the fraught future of these ancient forests around the story of a logger who saved one of Canada's last great
Publisher: Toronto :, Walrus Books,, 2018
ISBN: 9781487003128
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file, rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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Apr 28, 2019

Great book, which examines in great depth the conflicts over preserving BC's old-growth forests--including some of the biggest trees on earth--while allowing BC's lumber industry to remain healthy. Activists and environmentalists play a large role in preserving the giants, but ironically, one of the heroes of the book is a logger--Dennis Cronin--flagging for a future clear-cut in 2011, who looked at this one massive Douglas fir, and decided it should be spared "because he liked it". It turned out to be the second-largest of its species in the world. Now it stands alone in the middle of a clear-cut.
It's a complex subject--as logging companies were allowed to clear-cut massive sections of BC for decades with little or no oversight...but they are key to preserving healthy forests. Sad yet hopeful read.

darelann Jan 14, 2019

‘To encounter a great tree in a forest, one that is three metres in diameter and a hundred metres tall, is to come face to face with one of nature’s grandest creations.’ H. Rustad

I really enjoyed this well written and researched book. Set in the deep forests of Vancouver Island Rustad describes the conflict between the logging industry and the environmental movement, global economics and the fight for preservation of ancient forests while telling the tale of how one magnificent Fir tree managed to escape being logged to become known as ‘Big Lonely Doug’.

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