Students of Bamfield Community School gathered in Sarita to plant the 40-millionth seedling for Island Timberlands, on April 10.
The students were joined by representatives from Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Island Timberlands and a number of tree planters and other forest professionals.
The event was organized by Island Timberlands. It took place on a cut block approximately 57 kilometres from Port Alberni that is surrounded by Huu-ay-aht Treaty Settlement Land.
Elected Chief Councillor Jeff Cook took part in the official tree planting, along with Island Timberlands Chief Forester Bill Waugh and Island Timberlands President Darshan Sihota. The students were there to witness the planting of the 40-millionth seedling, a cedar tree, and they also had an opportunity to plant a number of seedlings on the cut block.
“I hope these youth will be able to remember where they were today, so they can come out here and recognize where they planted trees,” Chief Cook says. “They will then know that they made a difference today by planting these cedars.”
According to Sihota, Island Timberlands replants many more trees than it harvests. Island Timberlands stated it is their goal to reforest each area within one year of it being harvested. The 40 million trees were all planted within the past 10 years on sites owned and harvested by Island Timberlands. The cut block in Sarita will be reforested with mainly cedar seedlings, but some Douglas fir will also be planted closer to the road. Hemlock is also native to the area, but it will return on its own as it is a prolific seed producer. The plot was originally cut approximately 65 years ago.