Sayward Forest

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.

Landscape Shot

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.

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Ministry of Forests
Forest Practices Branch