TotY 2024 Fanny Bay Grove To Grove Route
Start at the intersection of Hwy 19A and Hastings Road, follow to top of hill, stay left. Travel another 2.6kms, (to just after after bridge), entrance on the right. 50m will take you to Grand Mamma area, another 260m will take you to the start of the Grand Grove, marked by orange flagging tape. Walk 65m on a rough "trail" following the orange tape. This route can be linked to TotY - Fanny Bay - #17, #34 by riding 1 km North to Ships Point Road. You can also find it here by searching for: TotY - Fanny Bay Collection by Roger Chayer
Grand fir (Abies grandis) at Waterloo Creek
Location: At the intersection of Highway 19A and Hastings Road follow Hastings (Main) Rd. to top of hill, stay left (becomes Rosewall Main 01). Turn off to the Grove after approximately 2.6 km, just past the bridge. The Grand Mamma is approximately 50 m in and to the left. The Grand Grove is another 260 m further and to the right. Follow the orange flagging tape for 65 m. Please note the access to the Grand Grove is a rough “trail.”
“Grand Mamma” GPS: 49.4716, -124.809933
The Waterloo Creek area, in Fanny Bay, is host to a stand of trees that covers 24 hectares of Crown Land currently managed by the K’omox First Nation. In the 30s and 40s it was selectively logged for Douglas fir and redcedar leaving the unfavoured grand firs. In the early 40s the owner defaulted on the taxes for the land, and post-WWII, the land reverted to the Crown. Today, it is a marvellous mixed forest of very old and large conifers and deciduous trees, accented by the very large grand firs in the richer ecosystems. Of these, “Grand Mamma” stands out at a height of 68 m (223 ft or a 22-storey building) and a diameter of 120 cm (4 ft). Interestingly, the largest grand fir of record measuring 75 m is in the Chilliwack Valley. Could it be that the second largest is right here in Fanny Bay? There is a large stand, the “Grand Grove” which has eight large grand fir trees in an unusual linear pattern – can you spot them? The largest in the stand is 63 m high but only (!) 110 cm in diameter.
This entire area is currently unprotected. However, together, Provincial tree gene conservation scientists and local residents have highlighted to the government, for the last twenty years, that this stand is the last remaining “large group” of grand fir left unlogged on the east side of Vancouver Island and should therefore have a formal protected status. Currently there is a verbal agreement between the K’omox First Nation and the Province to not log the area and they are working to making this an official Old Growth Management Area (OGMA).
Submitted by Roger Chayer.
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