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Excerpt from Canada’s National Observer.

 

Katie Wheeler grew up counting salmon in creeks, swimming in icy ocean bays and examining the trees, plants and creatures in a section of rainforest on the northern end of her small B.C. island.

The 17-year-old’s childhood memories are rooted in her experiences in the Children’s Forest on Cortes Island.

Now the young woman hopes to contribute to a community effort to protect the area so younger kids can enjoy it like she did.

Wheeler acts as a youth mentor for the Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island Society, a charity formed in the hopes of buying 640 acres of forest from timber companies for future generations.

“(The forest) has a lot of endangered species of animals, plants and fungi. And ecosystems that are non-existent now in a lot of places because of logging,” Wheeler said, noting pockets of old-growth remain on the properties held by Mosaic Forest Management.

Photo courtesy of the Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island Society

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