Caycuse Before & After Logging
Project info

This is not a photo series I’d ever hoped to complete. These before and after images feature giant, old-growth western redcedar trees cut down in the Caycuse Valley in Ditidaht territory on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. In April 2020, I explored and photographed this amazing grove, which, tragically, was only days away from being cut down. I returned again in the fall and gone were the vibrant flourishes of red, green, and gold, and the sounds of birds and bears amongst the forest. Instead, a grey graveyard of massive stumps and broken debris lay before me. It was gut-wrenching to retrace my steps and photograph the remains of those same ancient trees I once knew but necessary to expose the destruction they still face.

Scientific research shows that more than 97% of BC’s productive, 'big tree' old-growth forests have now already been logged. Old-growth forests play a critical role in ensuring the survival of endangered species, mitigating runaway climate change, providing clean water for communities and wild salmon, supporting the multi-billion-dollar tourism industry, and are fundamental to many First Nations cultures. Trees here can grow to be over 300ft tall, 20ft wide, and live for nearly 2000 years. Despite this, roughly 10,000 football fields are still logged on Vancouver Island alone each year.

Under pressure, the provincial government have recently promised to change the way that old-growth forests are managed in BC. However, they're not moving fast enough, allowing industry to target the best remaining stands of giant trees like these before they're potentially saved. We must act now to ensure their protection before it's too late.