New Sign Unveiled at Ancient Forest
Prince George, B.C. – About $1 million in government upgrades are almost complete at the Ancient Forest.
To celebrate, dozens of people were on hand for the unveiling of a new sign at the park’s entrance just off of Highway 16 halfway between Prince George and McBride today.
“It’s been a labour of love for the people who have been a part of that,” said Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond. “It is spectacular.”
The Lheidli T’enneh First Nation provided part of the name for the park – Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut meaning “oldest trees.” The First Nation band is represented on the park sign since it lies within its traditional territory.
“This is a big event for us and for the Lheidli T’enneh and for the recognition of the territory,” said Chief Dominick Frederick. “We thank everyone for being here and for what’s happening here and for giving us the opportunity to name the park in the language so that it’s there and it’ll be there for good and for future generations.”
In addition to the sign, parking lot upgrades are almost complete. The new parking lot will allow space for up to 100 vehicles along with highway turning lanes.
“It sounds cliché really but it’s just overwhelming,” said Nowell Senior, president of the Caledonia Ramblers Hiking Society, the organization behind the development of the park. “I mean we came here 11 years ago and put little tiny trails through the bush not imagining we’d get something like this.”
The park, which is home to some of the largest old-growth cedars in the area, was named a Class A Provincial Park in March.
Senior says the next step is to have the park designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“We’re in the process right now of getting on to that tentative list of candidates for that designation. So it’s a real special place.”