Documenting and Protecting our Forest Heritage: The BC BigTree Registry

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The BC Big Tree Registry was initiated in 1980 by Randy Stoltman, a young tree-enthusiast who gave one of his first lists of big trees in Stanley Park to the Vancouver Park Board. Six years later the registry was formally established by the BC Forestry Association. Today, it is hosted by UBC Forestry and exists as an online, open-source, citizen involvement project, dedicated to identifying, describing, monitoring and conserving the magnificent forests of British Columbia. Please make a donation to support the registry.

There’s something awe-inspiring about a big tree. Their size and stillness moves something in us. They are fascinating, reassuring and timeless. 2015 has been a particularly tough year for these trees due to a wildfire season that broke records, followed by the worst windstorm in a decade. It is undeniable that changes in our climate are affecting our forests, and the need to protect them is increasingly urgent.

The BC Big Tree Registry is open to everyone in the province, not just forestry professionals. Anyone can nominate a tree, or look up information about trees that are already documented. This is open source information for the public to access, to help them find the big trees for themselves, and to nominate new trees so others can do the same. As a digital resource, this sort of civilian maintenance should result in the most comprehensive record of big trees in British Columbia to date.

“I think these trees are a legacy that we’ve inherited in this province,” says Professor Sally Aitken, “and we should be recording this kind of information about them, and also facilitating people visiting them.”

By stirring people’s appreciation for these trees, the BC Big Tree Registry aims to engage the whole community in helping to map our forests, and to preserve them for future generations. Your donation will support every aspect of the Big Tree Registry’s work, from measuring and documenting the biggest trees to supporting citizen involvement and promoting the well-being of our forests. Thank you.

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