British Columbia’s newest Class A provincial park is an 11,000-hectare expanse of the world’s only inland temperate rainforest east of Prince George.
Called the Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Wudujut, the region is being added to B.C.’s parks by legislation introduced on March 15.
Premier Christy Clark said the province is also applying to have the park named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“Dedicated volunteers and community members have worked for years to protect this special habitat,” said Shirley Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemount.
“Several of the trees in this historic natural wonder are more than 1,000 years old, with trunks measuring up to 16 metres around.”
The park is a joint project of the provincial government, the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation and the Caledonia Ramblers Hiking Society, which signed an agreement in July 2015 to protect the area’s ancient cedar stands.
The society built and maintains three kilometres of hiking trails through the forest that attracted 20,000 visitors in 2015.