Modern day Vancouver Island owes much of its early development to the logging industry, island timber has been commercially harvested since the 1820’s. The seemingly endless supply of giant spruce, fir and cedar and the incredible value they could command in the open market, combined with the proximity to the ocean for transport, earned Vancouver Island the reputation of a “Loggers Eden”.
In the 1950’s mechanized logging replaced traditional methods and the forestry companies were now able to level vast stretches of forest at an unprecedented rate. This unbridled development was not without consequence. Until the mid 1990’s no protection was afforded to stream ecosystems, as a result significant amounts of vital salmonid habitat and was degraded or destroyed.
The only thing more integral to the fabric of coastal B.C. than the ancient forests is the Pacific salmon. Vancouver Island is home to once legendary runs of chinook, coho, chum, sockeye, pink and steelhead. During the last 50 years, over-fishing, habitat destruction and poor management has resulted in significant declines in wild salmon populations.
The Central Westcoast Forest Society (CWFS) was founded in 1995 by loggers, biologists and forestry professionals who recognized the need to address the loss of habitat in order to preserve our wild fish stocks.
In 2017 CWFS worked on 10 different watersheds on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Central Westcoast Forest Society is always looking for creative ways to educate people; offering opportunities to learn and be inspired by the natural environment. We work to build relationships with community members by implementing training courses, workshops and interpretive tours to raise awareness about our work and to promote the crucial role of sustainably managed ecosystems.