Sunday, August 15, 2010

Forest and nature recreation

Drag yourself and your family away from the virtual world of screens and electronic gadgets for a day. Try something real. Get a taste of nature in the forest.

Some of us hunt, fish, ski, snowmobile or do some recreational activity that requires equipment in the forest. The natural environment of the forest is interesting, so all we need to enjoy the forest is adequate footwear and clothing and possibly a lunch in a backpack.

In some parts of BC, there are few forest trails for hiking. Most areas have active an inactive forest roads that can take the place of trails. Often, you can drive part way up the hill or mountain.

A recently logged area may not sound too appealing for forest recreation. However, a large clear cut area can be more interesting than you would expect. If the area is on a hill or mountain, you can see the view because it will not be obscured by trees. Nature is resilient. One of the best demonstrations of resiliency is a recently logged area. Nature goes to work in the first growing season and after a few seasons the impact of man's activities gets overshadowed by new growth.

The forest road in the above picture has red alder naturally established on the bare mineral disturbed soil of the roadside. The alder prevents erosion of the soil and has returned the road to the appearance of nature within a decade.

A pocket guide for identifying trees and wild plants can turn a hike into an educational experience for the whole family. The forest is a symbol of hope. It renews itself and it represents a healthy environment. Walking and other exercise in the woods makes us healthy too.

A high percentage of BC residents live in cities and have lost their connection to the forests. There are forests within close reach of our cities. A day in the forest is good for us. It is good for our public forests. If more people visit the forest, they will be a force for better stewardship. Forests are renewable and give the hope of a sustainable environment and forest based industries in BC. That is why it is important to get your children into the forest. If you enjoy going out to the forest or natural environments,the chances are that you caught the liking from a parent or other adult that introduced you to the wonders of nature.

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