The Sayward is comprised of some 150,000 hectares of
forest land located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, northwest of Campbell
River. Mountains encircle the forest on the north, east and west, and
rivers and streams connect the many lakes that dot the region.
The Sayward forest is a popular recreation area. It is also an
intensely managed, second- growth forest. Most of the second-growth
timber has grown from hand planted seedlings.
Loggers first entered the Sayward in 1889. The valuable timber and
gentle topography of the region provided prime logging opportunities.
But the logging practices used at that time left a lot of slash and
small-diameter trees behind and, by the early 1900s, this debris was
becoming an extreme forest fire hazard.
In the 1920s, initial reforestation research centred on methods of
aiding natural regeneration. It was hoped that random blocks of
standing green timber would provide enough seed to regenerate the
adjacent logged-out areas. Studies began to indicate, however, that
natural regeneration would not provide enough new growth to replace the
number of trees being logged or lost to forest fires.
Ministry of Forests
Forest Practices Branch