Human Elements: Preserving 600-year-old giants

Ken Wu catalogs and measures British Columbia’s biggest trees in order to protect them.

Ken Wu of Endangered Ecosystems Alliance measures trees in an ancient forest in Harrison Mills, British Columbia. (Sarah Hoffman/Crosscut)

Ken Wu is searching for the ancient giants in British Columbia’s coastal rainforest. He climbs over mossy logs and supersized ferns in search of trees so tall you have to crane your neck. As the executive director of Endangered Ecosystems Alliance, Wu uses science to inform protection of these forests. He catalogs and measures British Columbia’s biggest trees, some of them on the order of 600 years old. According to satellite mapping, only 3% of these giant trees remain. Wu’s hope is that showing the diversity of these ecosystems will instill a sense of wonder in people and encourage protection of these forests.

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