Its storytelling may have left the critics—and the Academy—cold. But there’s no denying James Cameron’s digital extravaganza Avatar has inspired tree-huggers the world round, rooted as it is on themes of conserving ancient ecosystems in all their majesty. In a stroke of marketing brilliance, the Victoria-based Ancient Forest Alliance has re-christened a majestic expanse of old-growth on southern Vancouver Island in honour of the $300-million Hollywood blockbuster. Gone is the prosaic sounding Tree Farm Licence 46. In is the “Avatar Grove,” a “spectacular and accessible stand of newly discovered old growth red cedars and Douglas firs near Port Renfrew.” The alliance, which is a splinter group of the old Western Canada Wilderness Committee, is up against a Surrey, B.C.-based logging show and the provincial government. But if their cause captures the imaginations of dewy-eyed movie-goers, it would be unwise to count them out.
Thursday, March 11, 2010