VANCOUVER ISLAND (NEWS1130) – When you re-roof your home, where are the materials coming from?

Poachers are trying to cut down ancient cedars in Carmanah-Walbran Provincial Park on Vancouver Island and the Wilderness Committee thinks they might be turning into shingles.

Poachers first tried to cut down the 800-year-old Red Cedar last year. They failed. But the tree, which is nearly three metres across, was damaged so much, Parks staff had to bring it down for safety reasons.

Since then, poachers have returned, cut the tree up and hauled much of it away, further damaging the area. Undergrowth in the park is torn and crushed, and a ditch is caved in and blocked with debris.

“This is mainly speculation, but cedar shake blocks [are] extremely valuable for cedar shake roofs,” says Torrance Coste with the Wilderness Committee.

He points out there is almost no one to stop it from happening. “It’s gotten to the point where, for 1,000 protected areas and parks in the province, BC Parks employs 10 full-time staff.”

Coste tells us BC Parks staff are currently looking for funding to mediate the damage. Lake Cowichan RCMP have also been contacted, but enforcement is problematic due to its remote location.

Coste hopes coverage of the problem will bring attention and possibly funding to crews from the government.